Recipe logoRecipes

Wild Garlic and Bone Marrow Compound Butter Recipe

This compound butter is easy to make with wild garlic picked from the woods, unctuous beefy bone marrow shafts, shallots, lemon zest, and salt and pepper. Melted over resting steaks, boiled or steamed veg, or baked potatoes, is nothing short of heavenly. Be sure to give it a go!

Last Updated: August 25, 2021

Wild garlic and bone marrow butter melted onto a grilled ribeye steak

This recipe for wild garlic and bone marrow butter is easy to make yet simply stunning melted over resting steaks, or boiled vegetables, for a huge flavor boost that is sure to impress.

It’s somewhat a combination of my two previous recipes for wild garlic butter, and bone marrow butter.

I tend to make these three compound butters in big batches all in one session at the start of the wild garlic season, when the picking is the best, then store them in the freezer for use throughout the year.

Wild garlic season is short, and this is a great way to preserve some and stretch out its availability to you throughout the year.

Enough small talk, let’s get into it.

What is Wild Garlic (Also Known as Ramsons)?

Wild garlic around the base of a tree
Early season, bud and flower free wild garlic around the base of a tree.

Wild garlic – or ramsons – is a member of the onion family, found growing wild in ancient woodlands where there’s plenty of shade and moisture.

It has a strong, pungent smell of garlic but tastes sweeter and milder than the typical garlic you find in your local store.

The plant consists of broad green leaves sprouting one per stalk from a small central bulb, and during flowering, it has white flowers that grow from the centre of its stalks.

flowering wild garlic
You can see here the white flowers that wild garlic / ramsons produce.

Instead of eating the bulbs – which are small – we eat the leaves of wild garlic, but can eat the whole plant, including the bulb and flowers.

Traditionally we eat the leaves as part of a salad or added into soups, sauces, or in an omelet, or as a garnish over pasta and vegetable dishes.

But it can also be turned into a flavorful pesto or made into compound butters as we’re doing here.

What is Bone Marrow?

close up of raw bone marrow halves

Bone marrow is a soft, spongy substance found in the center of larger bones in most mammals. It is responsible for the manufacture of marrow stem cells, which go on to create blood cells.

Bone marrow has a soft buttery texture when roasted, is highly nutritious, has a high protein and fat content, and many trace minerals such as iron, calcium, phosphates, and more.

The flavor of bone marrow is best described as ‘the essence of beef.’ It is very earthy and meaty, beefy, with a hint of sweetness from the fat, making it buttery and smooth.

Bone marrow has traditionally been used to add flavor to soups, broths, and gravy. But it’s also fantastic roasted and spread on toast, or when melted over resting beef dishes, the primary use I have for it and why I make it into this butter.

Why Combine Wild Garlic and Bone Marrow Into a Compound Butter?

For two reasons: Firstly, I like to forage a little and grow my own fruit and veg. Wild garlic is freely available and plentiful in early spring, but not for the rest of the year, so I like to pick it and preserve some this way. I also like the romanticism and satisfaction of picking wild food and using it in recipes.

Secondly, it just tastes damn good! Bone marrow is epic when melted over a resting steak, as is wild garlic. Combine the two, they go together perfectly, and the flavor is dialed up all the way to 11.

How to Use this Wild Garlic and Bone Marrow Compound Butter

Compound butter melted over a grilled and now resting resting ribeye steak

My recommendations for use, with my favorite and most recommend first, are:

  • Melted over resting steaks or beef roasts for an added flavor boost.
  • Stuffed into large mushrooms before grilling.
  • Melted into jacket potatoes.
  • Melted over grilled sweetcorn.
  • Melted over steamed or boiled vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, or carrots.
  • Mixed into mashed potatoes.
  • Stirred into hot pasta.
  • Spread on toast.
  • Mixed into gravy to add depth and shine.

As you can see, it can have many uses and is great to have around for regular use.

How to Make Wild Garlic and Bone Marrow Butter

Wild garlic and bone marrow butter ingredients on a wooden cutting board

Soak your marrow bones in lightly salted water for between 12 and 24 hours to remove any blood. This step isn’t entirely necessary but helps with the color of the finished product.

Now remove your butter from the fridge to allow it to come up to room temperature while we smoke the marrow bones, making it easier to work with and mix later.

Now wash your wild garlic leaves and spread them out to allow them to dry properly before using them later.

Set up your grill or smoker for indirect heat smoke roasting at approx.. 300 F. Use a strong flavored smoking wood such as oak or hickory, as it’s not smoking for long, and we want that flavor.

Bone marrow halves, shallots and garlic on the smoker
Ignore the garlic cloves also being roasted in this pic, it was for something else I was making at the same time.

Place a drip pan under your grates to catch all the drippings from the roasting marrow bones. This is flavor we want to capture and add back into our mix.

Roasted bone marrow drippings in a drip tray
Collect and save the drippings from the smoke roasting bone marrow to add back later, it has tons of flavor!

Add the chopped shallots and a knob of butter into an ovenproof dish for smoking alongside the marrow bones. The butter helps the shallots to capture some added smoky flavor.

When up to temp, place the marrow bones, shallots, and garlic onto the grill.

Stir the shallots after 20 minutes of roasting.

After 45 minutes of smoke roasting, remove everything from your cooker.

Smoked bone marrow, shallots and garlic still on the smoker
Again, please ignore the garlic cloves, they were roasting same time for something else I was making.

Now scrape out all the marrow from the bones and set it aside to cool for 20 minutes, otherwise, it will melt the butter and end with a runny mess you will need to cool before you can use it or make logs for storage.

Puree the roasted garlic.

Using a sharp knife, finely chop the dry wild garlic leaves. I always use a knife instead of a food processor or blender because they are too heavy-handed, bruise the leaves, and lose color and flavor.

Now add all ingredients to a mixing bowl.

Wild garlic and bone marrow butter ingredients all placed into a bowl but unmixed

Using a whisk or fork, combine thoroughly.

I prefer to use a whisk as it ensures a finer and more even mixture with greater ease, but use whatever is most comfortable for you.

Thoroughly mixed wild garlic and bone marrow butter ingredients in a yellow bowl

It’s now ready for use or can be made into logs and wrapped in cling film for storage and later use.

Making Compound Butter Logs for Storage

Roll out some cling film to approximately 30cm before spooning your butter mix onto the cling film ready for rolling.

Wild garlic and bone marrow butter spooned onto cling film ready for rolling.

Take the front edge of the cling film and fold it up over the butter to cover it.

Now hold each end of the cling film and roll it back and forth until it forms a log and is entirely wrapped up in the cling film.

Now tie a knot in one end, squeeze out any air and then tie off the other end. Now cut off any excess.

Compound butter log wrapped in cling film ready for storage in fridge or freezer

You can now store this for up to a week in the fridge, or you can freeze it for up to 6 months.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Wild garlic and bone marrow butter log with two slices taken off the end

Wild Garlic and Bone Marrow Compound Butter Recipe


  • Author: Mark Jenner
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 20 portions 1x

Description

Wild garlic and smoked bone marrow compound butter that can be used to add incredible flavor to resting steaks, boiled veg, soups, gravy and more.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 bone marrow shafts
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g of wild garlic, finely chopped
  • 75g shallots, thinly diced
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak your marrow bones in salted water for anything between 12 and 24 hours to remove any blood.
  2. At least one hour before use, remove your butter from the fridge to soften and be easier to use.
  3. Wash and dry your wild garlic leaves now, so there’s time for them to dry before use later.
  4. Set up your grill or smoker for indirect heat smoke roasting at approx. 300 F. Use a strong flavored smoking wood such as oak or hickory, as it’s not smoking for long, and we want that flavor.
  5. Use a drip pan to catch the marrow bone drippings as it’s full of flavor, which we want to add back later.
  6. Put the chopped shallots into an oven-proof dish with a knob of butter, as the fat will help it take on smoke flavor.
  7. When up to temp, place the marrow bones, shallots, and garlic onto the grill.
  8. Stir the shallots after 20 minutes of roasting.
  9. After 45 minutes of smoke roasting, remove everything from your cooker.
  10. Scrape out all marrow from the bones and set it aside to cool for 20 minutes.
  11. Puree the roasted garlic.
  12. Using a sharp knife, finely chop the dry wild garlic leaves.
  13. Now add all ingredients (including drippings from roasting) to a mixing bowl, and using a whisk or fork, combine thoroughly.
  14. It’s now ready for use or can be made into logs and wrapped in cling film for storage and later use.

To Make into Logs for Storage

  1. Roll out some cling film to approximately 30cm.
  2. Spoon your butter mix onto the cling film, a few inches from the front edge and centrally.
  3. Fold the front edge of the cling film up over the butter to cover it.
  4. Now hold each end of the cling film and roll it back and forth until it forms a log and is entirely wrapped up in the cling film.
  5. Now tie a knot in one end, squeeze out any air and then tie off the other end. Now cut off any excess.
  6. You can now store this for up to a week in the fridge, or you can freeze it for up to 6 months.

Notes

You can add chili flakes to spice it up, or make it more interesting by adding fresh herbs so it’s suitable for a wider range of dishes. Rosemary, thyme, the usual suspects all do well if added into the mix.

  • Category: condiment, seasonings
  • Method: smoking, bbq
  • Cuisine: American, British

Keywords: wild garlic bone marrow butter, wild garlic bone marrow compound butter, wild garlic, bone marrow

I'm a self-proclaimed BBQ nut, and the founder and chief editor here at Food Fire Friends.

I love cooking outdoors over live fire and smoke whatever the weather, using various grills, smokers, and wood-fired ovens to produce epic food. My goal with this site is to help as many people as possible enjoy and be good at doing the same.

Leave a Comment

Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

0 Comments