Impossible Germany, Incredible Cuisine: Backstage With Wilco

June 18 / 2024

Interested in reliving the Wilco show, or did you miss out when they came to town last week? Not on our watch! Check out this setlist from their June 12th show at Riverside Theater, make a playlist, and tie on your apron! We're about to show you how to make one of the dishes prepared backstage while the beloved band was in Milwaukee.

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Backstage Menu

The tradition of enjoying savory bone marrow on toast with some acidic type of condiment is tried and true. I had it for the first time on a trip to London many moons ago and have enjoyed it many times since. It's something we like to put on the menu when we know an artist/tour is on the more adventurous side of life when it comes to eating. We were happy to have it well received by our friends from Wilco when they played at the Riverside Theater recently. Although this dish has many different renditions, here's how we laid it out for them and how you can do it at home if you'd like. Cheers. 

Kevin Sloan, Executive Chef

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Grilled Bone Marrow

Grilled Bone Marrow with Caramelized Onion & Parsley Marmalade, Toasted Sourdough Bread 

What You Will Need:

Marrow Bones (Milwaukee has many top-notch butchers, feel free to ask yours if they have some for sale. I purchased the ones we used for Wilco at "Wild Fork", on Port Washington near Bayshore Mall) 

1/2 QT buttermilk 

Course sea salt 

2 onion

1 bunch flat leaf parsley

1 T brown sugar

1 T sherry vinegar

1 loaf of crusty bread


Soak the marrow bones in the buttermilk for 4-5 hours. This will help draw some of the blood out of the marrow and help provide a nice milky color when you serve it. 

Julienne your onions over medium heat, and add to a large saute pan. Stir your onions with a wooden spoon often until they achieve a nice deep brown color. 

Allow to cool and add to a mixing bowl. Pick the leaves off of the parsley and add to the bowl with the onions. Add two Tablespoons of brown sugar and 2 Tablespoons of sherry vin or red wine vin. Add a drop of Extra virgin olive oil and stir. 

Slice thick slices of your bread and douse with extra virgin olive oil and fire up the grill. 

Once you toast off the bread on the grill it's time to attend to the marrow bones. 

Over a medium to high flame on the grill, put the bones on the grill marrow side down. This is the trickiest part of the process as you're looking to get some color on the marrow, but if you overcook the marrow it will render/become liquified and drip out.

After a quick minute or two, flip the bones over and leave the marrow side up. Now that you've got a little smoke on your bones, put them on a sheet pan and pop them in the oven (which was preheated to 450 degrees).

3 minutes later pull your bones out of the oven and serve with the onion-parsley marmalade.  Use a butter knife to smear some of the marrow on the toasted bread, top with some of the marmalade, and a sprinkle of sea salt, If you have a nice Beaujolais or chardonnay nearby, now would be a good time to open it up.

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Grilled Bone Marrow

Lastly, we leave you with a picture of Julie's Pastries mouthwatering Brandy Alexander Mousse cups until next time! 

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Brandy Alexander Mousse Cups


By: Kevin Sloan

Kevin Sloan is the executive chef for The Pabst Theater Group, leading the backstage experience for artists who visit the Group's venues. He has lead the full-service catering team since 2010.

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