Despite its less than sexy origins, bone marrow — the rich, gelatinous matter found in the center of animal bones — has become a trendy menu staple that can seemingly be found at nearly all of Dallas's hottest restaurants. Meaty and luscious on its own, bone marrow doesn’t necessarily need to be gussied up with fancy ingredients, but Chef Kyle McClelland has found a way to add nuance to a dish that's typically served simply roasted with crostini for slathering.
At Proof + Pantry, bone marrow gets the special treatment. The bones that come in from a local purveyor are thoroughly cleaned by the kitchen staff, then roasted in the oven for a few hours to "set" the marrow. In the meantime, though, is when the magic happens. To accent the bone marrow’s humble fattiness, McClelland has created some mighty fancy accoutrements for his bones, most notably the onion-thyme marshmallows.
Marshmallows are kind of McClelland’s thing. When he was the executive chef of Prospect in Brooklyn, McClelland says he found that diners loved the whimsy that marshmallows added to his plates. In past iterations of Proof + Pantry’s constantly evolving menu, the pillowy sweets were infused with espresso and served over butternut squash soup. Now, though, McClelland takes the process to the next level by adding a puree of sweet yellow onions to the marshmallow’s traditional meringue backbone. The onion puree is strained before adding, though, so you won’t have to worry about any errant onion chunks, er, harshing your mallow.
The marshmallows are just one of the several elaborate components of this dish. A jam of confited tomatoes, red wine vinegar, and sugar is smeared over the bone marrow before a second roasting, but only after it slowly simmers on the stove for a few hours. A black garlic puree smeared across the plate adds earthiness and depth, and a "gremolata" made with hazelnuts, panko, and parsley is the finishing touch.
Technically, the bone marrow dish is one of Proof + Pantry's dishes that's intended for sharing, but McClelland says that he’d probably just eat the whole thing on his own — so you should probably plan to order a couple if you’re bringing friends along. At present, the dish is one of Proof + Pantry’s best sellers, and the chef says diners can look forward to more creative iterations of the marshmallow-topped bone marrow in the future: "We’re going to play a lot. It’s one of our best sellers here, and if we were to take it off, people would be upset."