By Sean Peltier, Chef, CMH McBride
It had snowed 30-50cm a night for 4 straight nights at CMH Heli-Skiing's McBride Lodge. Our French guests were over the moon with the skiing conditions as were the few lucky staff that got to go out on the mountain and enjoy the steep and deep of the Betty Wendle creek.
The aptly named Apollo was the run that was getting the most attention. Hip deep was the snow, and even with my severely over sized snowboard on I was sinking like a stone. My legs were burning half way through the day. As a 30 year old I watched in amazement as one of our guests navigated the trees with the greatest of ease the day after his 81st birthday. If I was starting to ache I could only imagine how he and the rest of his group were feeling. I knew that they needed a serious shot of protein to help rebuild after an epic day of heli-skiing.
If you are at all following the trends of food across the world you will have noticed the rebirth of 'nose to tail dining'. The love for variety cuts and other meats that have been forgotten for such a long time have once again found their rightful place on menus worldwide. Once considered the staples of survival became frowned upon in favor of the grilling cuts.
These variety cuts have seen a boon lately due mostly to their wonderful flavour and the fact that they seem to take a group of diners to a place that lies somewhere in their roots. Just watch a table sit down to enjoy a country style pate, or a beautifully braised piece of beef cheek. The conversation is always more relaxed and reflective of the day.
On this particular snowy day I had just the shot of protien in mind for my fellow heli-skiers. I cooked a dish that has always been a personal favorite for me. Roasted beef marrow bone with a parsley salad and toast. At first look the staff at the McBride lodge gave me a queer eye. "What is this and what am I supposed to do with it?".
Once it is placed in front of someone instinct takes over. Reaching for the butter knife, digging into the bones soft core to remove the warm and glistening marrow and then spreading it on the toast. No instruction needed. Silence. A dining room without a sound. Five minutes of silence followed by smiles. There is nothing easier than this dish. It is pure food. Simple, delicious and primal.
Coat the marrow bone with oil and roast in a 425 degree oven for about 12-15 minutes. That's it. The parsley salad is just rough chopped parsley, capers, lemon zest and shaved shallots.
You will be loved by anyone you cook this for and your butcher will be over the moon. Nothing will make you friends faster with a butcher, or a heli-skier, than this dish. I promise.
Do you have a favourite apres-ski meal? We'd love to hear about it. Share it here in the comments.