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Bone Marrow Risotto


50ml extra virgin olive oil

100g bone marrow

1 tsp saffron threads

1 brown onion

250g Arborio or Carnaroli rice

150ml dry white wine

1 litre chicken stock

50g butter

150g Grana Padano parmesan

Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper



Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan then turn it off, ready for addition to the risotto.


Finely slice the bone marrow. Peel and finely dice the onion. Put a heavy bottomed pan on a medium heat, add the olive oil, ½ the bone marrow and saffron to sauté for a few minutes until they render. Reduce the heat, add the onions and allow these to cook for another few minutes until they’re soft and sweet. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Next, increase the heat, add the rice and stir briefly coat each grain. Add the wine and simmer to cook off the alcohol.


Return the heat to medium and add the hot stock to the rice, ladle by ladle, adding more as the stock is absorbed. Stir frequently to release starch and continue adding stock until the rice is cooked to al dente and the stock is absorbed but still relaxes out about the rice (about 20 mins). As you near the end of cooking, stir more vigorously to get a creamy texture.


Dice the butter and grate the parmesan, saving some to shave over the risotto.


To finish, remove the risotto pan from the heat and stir in butter and grated cheese. Stir vigorously until rich and creamy. Lastly, stir through the remaining sliced bone marrow. Taste and adjust the seasoning.


Serve the risotto into warmed bowls. Garnish with the parmesan shavings and freshly cracked pepper. A side of crusty ciabatta will be good for mopping up the scraps.


This is an Italian classic and is traditionally served with Osso Bucco, however we love it by itself for its sumptuous richness. We stir less butter than usual into the risotto to compensate for the richness of the marrow.

Serves: 4 – 6

Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 25 – 30 mins

Difficulty: easy

Serve with: A full-bodied chardonnay with a creamy texture and a restrained but precise acid finish. The saffron and bone marrow make this dish rich and you’ll need wine that will meet the flavours but clean up your palate. Try Odyssey ‘Iliad’ or Escarpment ‘Kupe’.

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