Recipes, Steak Recipes

Denver steak, braised spinach & bone marrow butter

When this steak is good, as is the case when it comes from Swaledale butchers, it might just be the best steak out there. Check out its backstory for a little lesson in beef trading history.

Simply cooked in the pan, basted in foaming butter and then allowed to rest for a suitable amount of time, it really does yield a superior steak. It has natural marbling, which is crucial and gives it that juicy tenderness.

The bone marrow butter is a little bit of work, but makes for a great steak accompaniment (I’ve also had success with it melted over a roasted piece of fish!), and if you wanted to double up the recipe, it freezes very well.

Serves 2 (although enough bone marrow butter for 2 meals)


For the bone marrow butter


The bone marrow butter is probably best made the night before, but at least 4 hours before you want to eat, as it needs to set in the fridge:

  1. Heat your oven to 180°C.
  2. Place the bone marrow on a roasting tray along with the garlic cloves – keep them in their shells. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Pour off the fat from the oven tray into a small pan and add the shallots, plus a pinch of salt. Cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes, until the shallots have softened and are on the verge of colouring.
  4. At this point, squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins and into the pan, along with the picked thyme. Leave to cool slightly.
  5. Tip the butter into a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until soft and pliable.
  6. Scoop the marrow out of the bones and into the butter. Then add the shallots, garlic, and thyme.
  7. Fold all together and check for seasoning. Adjust if necessary.
  8. Lay out a sheet of cling film or parchment paper. Spoon the butter in a line at one end and then roll it up into a little sausage. Pinch tightly at both ends and run the sausage up the table in one direction. Lift and repeat. This will twist the ends and tighten the sausage.
  9. Leave in the fridge to set.

To cook the steak:

  1. Remove the steaks from the fridge and their packaging at least an hour before you want to cook them.
  2. Season well with salt.
  3. Set a frying pan or cast-iron skillet over a high heat and add a splash of olive oil.
  4. Place the steaks in the pan and leave for 1 minute. Then flip and leave for 1 more minute.
  5. Reduce the heat in the pan and add a large knob of butter and flip the steaks again. As the butter foams, use a spoon to baste the steaks with the butter.
  6. Flipping every 30 seconds or so and basting heavily after every turn, cook the steaks for about 3 to 4 more minutes.
  7. Remove from the pan and lay on a plate. Pour over the foaming butter and leave to rest, somewhere warm, for at least 10 minutes.

For the spinach:

  1. Cut the roots off the spinach leaves but leave on some of the stalk. Give it a very good wash in cold water. Drain in a colander.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Set it on a high heat and add the garlic and chilli flakes and a small pinch of salt (spinach has quite good natural saltiness). Cook for 30 seconds or so, until the garlic feels sticky. Don’t let it burn.
  3. Add the spinach and turn the heat down to medium and give it a good stir.
  4. Cook the spinach without a lid for about 20 minutes. We want the spinach to be completely broken down, and its liquid nearly completely evaporated.
  5. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  6. Slice the bone marrow butter into several little discs. Carve the steaks against the grain and then lay them in the pan they were cooked in. Place the butter over the top of the steaks and pop in the oven for a minute — to get a bit of heat back in the meat and begin to melt the butter. Serve it next to the spinach and enjoy.

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