Roast Asparagus with Beef Marrow and Savory Olive Sauce

A very simple dish with huge and pleasurable impact—mostly because of the combination of the marrow and the asparagus.


  • 4 marrow bones
  • 20 thick asparagus spears
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 recipe Beef Jus
  • 48 Nicoise olives, pitted
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground white pepper


Remove the marrow from the bones, place it in a bowl of cold water with ice cubes, and refrigerate for 6 hours. Drain and cut each piece crosswise in half.

Peel the asparagus and trim the spears so that they are 5 inches long. Rinse in cold water, drain, and dry on a kitchen towel.

In a large skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil over low heat. Place the asparagus in the hot fat and roll them around to coat. Cook, continuing to roll the spears over and over, until they are evenly colored and tender but al dente, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and remove from the skillet. Keep warm.

Heat the beef jus, add the olives, cover, and infuse over very low heat without letting the sauce boil.

While the beef jus cooks, bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil in a small saucepan. Plunge the pieces of marrow into the water, reduce the heat to below a simmer, and poach the marrow for 5 minutes.

To serve, ladle a spoonful of the sauce in the center of each of 4 hot plates. Arrange 3 spears of asparagus in the center of each plate, then arrange 2 spears on top of those, crossing at a 90-degree angle. Drain the marrow and arrange 2 pieces on each of the piles of asparagus. Season the sauce with black pepper and surround the asparagus with more sauce, spooning the olives over the asparagus and onto the plate. Sprinkle each piece of marrow with sea salt and white pepper.