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SDM’s Guide to Food + Drink: Ranch 45’s Bone Marrow


Welcome to SDM‘s Guide to Food + Drink, a series created to help you decide on where to eat in San Diego—curated by the team at San Diego Magazine. This week: dry-aged bone marrow at Ranch 45.

I’d had dry-aged steaks. I myself am a little dry-aged. But I’d never had dry-aged marrow. Holy expletives.

Only one place in San Diego I know that’s doing it. Ranch 45 in Del Mar. if pleasure is a current life pursuit, you should probably try this.

Regular roasted bone marrow is meat butter. It’s what’s thickened and flavored soups through history. Became trendy in recent years, probably because it’s fatty and rich and fairly delicious, but also because it looks like Game of Thrones, and naturalists will tell you it cures all sorts of ailments including bad taste in men.

“I always thought bone marrow was kind of dumb,” says co-founder Pam Schwartz. “But we decided to throw it in the dry-ager for 15 days and see what happened. Holy sh**.”

By dry-aging, you’re removing moisture. Same concept as how reducing a soup (simmering off liquid) makes it more intense, richer. Dry-aging makes an already pretty good thing like marrow (I wholly disagree with Pam) incredibly delicious. Spread a little on a steak, moan, black out a little.

Pam is a restaurant lifer who learned to cook at CIA Hyde Park, cooked at the Beard House, served as GM of Pamplemousse for about a decade, was the cooking instructor at Sur La Table. During the pandemic her husband Aron had been furloughed from his job as an exec chef of one of San Diego’s biggest hotels. There, he’d earned a name as one of the biggest supporters of local food and farms.

So she pulled him in. The concept—butcher shop, restaurant, general store for food and wine people—is using the whole animal, tip to tail. They make soap out of the beef tallow. They use it to bake brownies. Candles. The way it was always supposed to be.

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