4 grass-fed shinbones, split lengthways (see Note)
1 L salt brine
3 live sea urchins (if unavailable, optional)
100 g purslane, washed and picked
Fermented Chilli Caper Dressing:
10 g finely chopped shallot
50 ml chardonnay vinegar
Zest of 1/2 lemon
20 g capers, finely chopped
20 g caper berries, finely chopped
1/2 tsp fermented chilli paste
1/4 bunch flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped
100 ml fruity, mild extra-virgin olive oil, such as arbequina or koroneiki
Place the shinbones in the chilled salt brine for 6 hours or overnight. Remove and pat dry with paper towel.
Ignite a fire in your wood-fired oven. Leave it to burn until medium embers are produced – you are aiming to bring the oven to a temperature of 300°C (570°F).
Prepare the sea urchins. Locate the surface with the central mouth and cut a large circular opening around it with a pair of sharp pointed scissors. Carefully remove the orange roe, which you will find hidden within. Rinse the roe in chilled filtered water and reserve. Discard the shell.
Prepare the dressing. Rinse the shallot in water and leave to soak in a bowl with the vinegar for 20 minutes. Drain the shallot well, add the lemon zest, capers, caper berries, fermented chilli paste, parsley and olive oil, and mix to combine.
Place the bone marrow in a cast-iron pan and roast in the wood-fired oven until the fat begins to render. The marrow is done when it turns a siennabrown colour and starts to bubble around the edges.
Remove from the oven and brush the marrow with a spoonful of the fermented chilli and caper dressing. Top with the sea urchin and purslane. Serve immediately.
Note: Ask your butcher to split your shinbones length ways. The shinbones need time to chill in the brine solution, so begin this recipe at least 6 hours ahead of time.
Credits: This is an edited extract from Finding Fire by Lennox Hastie published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $60 and is available in stores nationally.
Photo Credits: ©Nikki To.