Marrow was served in its bones at Victorian dinner parties, wrapped in heavy linen napkins and eaten with long-handled silver spoons. It is incredibly rich and a little goes a long way. An accompanying parsley or rocket salad will offset the richness. Your butcher will either give you beef marrow bones or make only a nominal charge. Ask him to saw the bones into 10-cm / 4-inch pieces.
Scrape and scrub the pieces of marrow bone. Wrap the ends in foil to prevent the marrow slipping out of the bottom during poaching and tie the bones together with string so they will stand upright. Put them into a saucepan, pour round boiling water to come halfway up the bones, put on a lid and simmer for 90 minutes.
Remove the foil and serve while still very hot with dry toast, sea salt and pepper.
© 1998 Alastair Little and Richard Whittington estate. All rights reserved.