May 2018


Our Smoked Bone Broth starts with Great Beef bones trimmed on the gas grill

Our Smoked Bone Broth starts with Great Beef bones trimmed on the gas grill

SMOKED BONE BROTH FOR HEALTH & FLAVOR

Summary:

Smoked beef bones by using cooking wood chunks over the grill heat shields or gas grill diffusers are easy!  The smoke flavor and slow simmer root vegetables are building flavor profiles for this unique smoked bone broth recipe. Simmering food with aromatic vegetables sometimes lacks taste that smoking wood chunks add. Read how easy it is!

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Know up front, that making broth from bones has been in our human history for a very long time.  It’s not new but I will say that over the past several years, it has gained in popularity for its health benefits and ability to cleanse the body.

Here’s what has been reported to improve when you consume bone broth: ease joint pain, reduce or prevent degenerative joint disease, promote hair and nail growth, enrich the blood, aid in digestion, build muscle, boost the immune system, and improve memory.

Bone broth is all about depth of flavor.  I am going to dig deeper into the flavor option and smoke the bones rather than roast them to bring an umami-type flavor to my broth.  Warning: you will need about 12-14 hours for the entire process so be sure to plan for this timing.

Grill Set Up

The gas grill I’m using is equipped with 4 burners and heat shields over those burners.  I’ll be preheating my grill using all 4 burners then shutting off the two burners on the left side and reduce the heat level to medium-low on the right side.  I add two wood chunks to the heat shields on the lit side of the grill.  Then on to my bones on the left side grill grate, where the burners are turned off.  These will stay on the grill for about 3 hours, with one turning of the bones at the halfway point.  Then off the grill and into a stock pot go my smoked bones for the start of the broth.

Simmering We Go

Our Smoked beef bones in the pot simmering with vegetables!

The extra depth of the smoke flavor will be gently revealed in our broth and does not overpower or obsolete the benefits of the broth.  To start the broth process, place the bones in the pot and fill the stockpot with cold, clean water.  Be sure the water is about four inches above the bones.  Allow the bones and water to come to a rapid boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.  The bones should simmer for a least 6 hours.  During that time, you can check and skim off any impurities from the top with a spoon.  While they are simmering you can prepare the vegetables, herbs, and spices that will be added to the mix.

Mirepoix and More

Now it’s time to add even more nutritional value to our broth.  Start by selecting the aromatic vegetables for your mirepoix.  I’ve taken leeks, carrot, celery, Napa cabbage, and a few broccoli stems.  To this, I’ve also included about 8 cloves of garlic, thyme, basil leaves, and a ¼ cup cider vinegar.  Place everything in the pot and stir to mix and submerge.  Cover the pot and allow this to simmer for about 8 hours.  Enjoy the great smell that will fill your home!

Strain and Portion

Straining out the cooked vegetables leave a clear brothYou’ve been smelling this awesome bone broth for nearly 14 hours so now it’s time to strain it and prepare to portion it out for future use.

If you’ve used a large stockpot, you may need a couple of additional pots for the straining as the contents get heavy to pour.  Once the clear broth is extracted with all the great nutritional value intact, remove the strainer and feel free to compost your vegetable/herb mixture.  Allow the broth to cool and skim off any settled fat from the top layer.  Then portion out the broth and get ready to enjoy its health benefits anytime.

This can be consumed as it for maximum detox benefit, in soups, or to make sauces – any way you can use broth.  I’m starting off by making a bowl of pho with sprouts, soba noodles, mushrooms, spring onion, and of course, my piping hot, flavorful, smoked bone broth.

Serving our smoked Bone Broth for a very satisfying meal!

Stater Ingredients for Bone Broth

  • 6-8 lbs. of beef bones
  • 1 lb. celery
  • 2 lbs. onion
  • 1 lb. carrot
  • 4-6 bay leaves
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • ¼ bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks: Double & Single Filet

Additional reading:

-WOOD FIRED LEG OF LAMB

-GIVE ME THAT BEEF BRISKET!

-SMOKED BEEF SHORT RIBS

Dr. Smoke-make great smoked beef broth with our simple techniques.

Dr. Smoke-make great smoked bone broth with our simple techniques.

Our smoked strawberries work perfectly to make a smoked strawberry marinade for our pork or any other meat!

Our smoked strawberries work perfectly to make a smoked strawberry marinade for our pork or any other meat!

 

SMOKED STRAWBERRY MARINADE

Summary:

Smoking on a Gas Grill or Charcoal Grill and using smoking wood chunks brings out the power of strawberries for this special smoked strawberry marinade. Smoked fruit by using Single filet® and a mild hardwood species like ash, alder, maple or cherry will have you adding this to your smoked strawberries marinade recipes.

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If you’re like me, you love strawberries for the incredible juice they contain.  One of my favorite ways to capture the essence of that juice is to smoke the strawberries on a grill.  Not only do you end up with phenomenal smoked strawberries but the juice the grilling/smoking process renders is a must-have ingredient for so many recipes.  I took a batch of the smoked juices and made a fabulous marinade for fish, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, and goat.

The Simple Grilling Method

Whether you elect to use a standard gas grill or a charcoal grill, you’ll want to use wood chunks from SmokinLicious® to bring clean smoke flavors to the strawberries.  You can visit our previous articles on smoking on a gas or charcoal grill in Dr. Smoke’s Tips and Technique.

For me, I’m using a gas grill equipped with single filet wood chunks.  I prefer to use more mild hardwoods when smoking fruits like Ash, Alder, Cherry, and Maple.

Strawberries on the gas grill with the double filet on the lite burner

Strawberries on the gas grill with the double filet on the lite burner

I simply lay out my fresh strawberries on a sheet pan or disposable foil tray after cleaning and trimming the stems.  I place the pan on the unlit side of my grill using a medium heat setting on the burners that are on the opposite side.  It will take less than 30 minutes to bring the strawberries to the smoky side.  After the strawberries are tenderly smoked and the juices have rendered, I carefully remove the tray and all the strawberries to cool slightly.  I then transfer the juice to a bowl to be used in my marinade.

The Smoked Strawberry Marinade Recipe

This marinade is so simple yet really packs great flavor.  Of course, the longer you marinate your protein, the better the outcome.  For one cup of marinade you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of smoked strawberry juice
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons blueberry balsamic vinegar or similar fruity flavor
  • ¼ cup Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon ground chipotle pepper

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients.  Select your protein: I recommend chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, or goat.  Place the protein in the bowl and coat completely with marinade.  Place the marinated protein in a resealable food storage bag, pouring the remaining marinade into the bag, and seal tightly.  Refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours but preferably overnight

Our pork roast and smoked strawberry marinade

Our pork roast and smoked strawberry marinade

Now you can choose the cooking method to bring all the flavors together.  Grill, oven roasting or even smoking.  Once you’ve selected your cooking method, remove the marinated meat from the bag and cook until done.  Remember, the marinade has been used on raw meat so you cannot reuse it as it will contain some bacteria.

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

Additional reading:

-SMOKED MAPLE SYRUP MARINADE

-STRAWBERRIES GET SMOKY FOR AN AQUA FRESCA COCKTAIL

-SMOKED STRAWBERRIES WITH HAND HELD SMOKER

-Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

 

Dr Smoke

Dr. Smoke flavor! Bring out the smoky flavor in the strawberries when you use as a marinade!

 

Our Ember roasted peppers make an awesome Charred Pepper Dip

Our Ember roasted peppers make an awesome Charred Pepper Dip

CHARRED PEPPER DIP

Summary:

A great smoked appetizers for your charred peppers recipes; our ember bed cooking of peppers provides great flavor. How to roast peppers in a grill, cooking on coals directly, cooking in embers, gas grill, charcoal grill, even cast iron skillet cooking will work for peppers.  Try this charred pepper dip topping.

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Peppers are one of those thick-skinned vegetables that release their ultimate flavor when they are introduced to hot coals.  Many people think that you need special equipment to cook foods in hot coals but really, it’s as easy as having a disposable pan available and a grill.  I’ll give you some options for roasting the peppers and then provide a great recipe to be used as a dip or topping that is quick and so easy.

Multiple Charring Methods

The ember cooking of our sweet peppers

Although you will see me using an open pit method of charring my sweet peppers, you can do this on a gas grill set up with either a disposable foil pan or a cast iron pan or skillet.  You can also use a charcoal grill, lighting a fire and allowing it to reduce to simple hot embers.  A portable fire pit works if you clean out all previous ash and wood pieces to keep the final flavors clean.

Here’s the key to making perfect charred peppers, whether sweet or hot.  You must only use hot embers and you need to have additional hot embers available to keep a consistent temperature and a full bed of coals.

Because peppers are loaded with water, it is easiest to clean the skins and seeds from them once they are fire roasted.  If you cover the charred peppers placed in a bowl with plastic wrap, the skins will pull away easily.  Then you’re ready for your favorite recipes.

Fresh Ingredients Make This Dip

What makes this recipe so great is that there are only a few flavorful ingredients that balance out the charry, smoky flavor of the peppers.  For this recipe, you’ll need the following:

the simple ingredients need

  • 6 charred peppers
  • 1 cup golden raisins, coarsely chopped (6 ounces)
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed and well drained
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh oregano
  • A coarse salt such as sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon Red-wine vinegar

Once the peppers are charred, I like to quarter them before placing in a food processor.  You can use a blender as well if you have a control to pulse the ingredients as you don’t want to thin them too much.  After pulsing the 6 charred peppers, add the raisins, oil, capers, and oregano.  Pulse to combine everything.  Season with salt and vinegar.  This dip can be refrigerated for one day prior to use.

Endless Uses

This dip/topping made from ember-roasted sweet pepper contains all vegan ingredients so its super flavorful while being healthy too.  Here’s the best part – it has so many uses and can be altered for a specific taste.  Use it as a topping for fish, chicken filet sandwiches, or sausage patties and links.  It can be heated providing an option to use it as a hot appetizer or cold.  I’ve served this will flatbread or Naan slices for a snack, appetizer, or lite lunch.  Want some kick to it?  You can add ember fired hot peppers as well or just add a few drops of hot sauce to the mix.  Because this is oil based, it is best to use up any leftovers within a few days, keeping it refrigerated until gone.

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®, Minuto®, & Piccolo®

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Additional reading:

-SPICY-CHAR HUMMUS

Ember cooked Sweet Peppers

-Ember Cooking/Roasting Garlic In An Iron Skillet

Dr. Smoke- I love ember roasted peppers because they char well! Making a yummy Charred Pepper Dip

Dr. Smoke- I love ember-roasted peppers because they char well! Making a yummy Charred Pepper Dip

Our collage of cooking the leg of lamb, finished and cut leg of Lamb

Our Wood Fired Leg of Lamb

 

WOOD FIRED LEG OF LAMB

Summary:

Our wood fired leg of lamb, is charcoal grilled lamb over Charwood, which is directly fired lump charcoal or cooking wood chunks. Wood cooked Lamb using sugar maple hardwood has great flavor! Syrah wine, Garlic, Onion, mint leaves make up our fresh herb rub or grilled lamb marinade. Add this to your grilled lamb recipes

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Lamb is one of those proteins that tend to be associated with special holidays and occasions rather than as a common animal protein to introduce to the grill.  Let’s change that with this easy and highly flavorful way to add wood flavoring to cuts of lamb on the charcoal grill.  Know this technique can easily be done on the gas grill as well so simply pick your equipment and follow the suggested technique to bring abundant flavor and juiciness to your favorite cut of lamb.

I’ll be doing a leg of lamb and rib loins of lamb on a charcoal grill using charcoal and wood chunks to bring the great smoke flavor.

Grill Set Up

For the charcoal grill, I like to have a fine mesh screen in place over the charcoal area to utilize even the smallest ember for the heat and temperature control of cooking on the grill.  I get two chimney starters of charcoal (I’m using lump hardwood) ready. My grill will have three rib loins plus a leg of lamb on it.  I also get about four wood chunks – I’m using Single Filet sizing from SmokinLicious® in ash, sugar maple, and wild cherry – ready to go on top of the hot coals once poured into the charcoal area.Our red hot Charwood ready for cooking!

For a gas grill set up, pre-heat the grill to maintain a cooking temperature of 275°-300°F.  Use only the heat of the burners on one side of the grill, while the other side remains off. The lamb will be placed on the grill with the burners in the “off” position.  This is the indirect method of cooking and is an easy way to ensure that the lamb cooks without burning the skin and that you don’t have to babysit the grill!  Wood chunks would be placed either directly on the heat shields of the lit burners or in a smoker box or disposable pan set on the lit burners.

A Flavorful Drip Pan

Before the fire is started, I’ve prepared a drip pan containing Syrah wine, rough cut onion, garlic, and mint leaves to catch the renderings from the meat and prevent flare-ups on my direct method charcoal grill.  If using a gas grill, this pan would go under the grill grate where the meat is placed.   Another benefit to the drip pan is it adds flavor to the cooking environment producing an aromatic convection steam.   Since the leg of lamb is thickest, it will go on the grill about 45 minutes ahead of the loins. The leg must maintain a temperature of 275° to 300°F on the grill.  I insert a temperature probe in the thickest portion of the leg to ensure internal temperature.

Our drip pan with Syrah wine, onions, garlic and fresh mint

Flavorful, Easy Grilling

After 45 minutes of initial cooking to the leg of lamb only, it’s time to add the rib lions.  Since I have a total of three loins, it is a full grill.  The temperature probe will remain in the leg of lamb as this will determine when everything comes off the grill to rest.  It can be a challenge to add charcoal when the grill grate is full and your cooking on a kettle grill, but if you keep a helper nearby, and you have chimney starter ready with hot coal, this won’t be a huge issue.  Our lamb has been oiled and rubbed with fresh herbs, garlic, and seasoning.  Just a few hours of wood grilling to perfection in flavor.

The Finish

One of the tricks to grilling with wood on either a charcoal or gas grill is to have a plan on how to maintain the main protein while not depleting any of the moisture.  I love to use insulated blankets, the kind you purchase for a hot water tank.  They work perfectly at maintaining the meat’s temperature so you can be up to an hour away from serving.  I wrap the meat in foil and then in the insulated blanket.  Sometimes, I’ll use a cooler if I’ve run out of places to put foods for a big gathering.

The beautiful, flavorful skin on the lamb is a mahogany color providing just the right amount of bite to each piece, courtesy of cherry, maple and ash hardwoods.  We are serving our lamb with a Jasmine rice and wood-fired Brussels sprouts and carrot, along with a wood-fired Canadian salmon.  Remember, lamb doesn’t have to be reserved for the special occasion.  It’s readily available throughout the year and is a perfect protein to add to the grill.

The cut slice of our leg of lamb surrounded by our colorful wood fired finished product!

Tasting Notes:

To tone down the boldness of the smoke, always reach for hardwoods that are lighter in flavor tones.  These would include Alder, Ash, and Wild Cherry.

Cooking the lamb on a charcoal grill will impart stronger wood flavorings than a gas grill. Especially if you use a direct method of cooking (food is placed directly over the charcoal and wood).

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

Additional reading:

-SMOKED HAM ON THE GAS GRILL

-DINING FOR SMILES EVENT PREPARATIONS

-Beer Can Chicken

-GIVE ME THAT BEEF BRISKET!

Dr Smoke

Dr. Smoke flavor- add this recipe to one of your holidays or a great summer event!

Smoke trapped in the bottle infusing the Smoked Maple Syrup Marinade

Smoke trapped in the bottle infusing the Smoked Maple Syrup Marinade

 SMOKED MAPLE SYRUP MARINADE

PERFECT FOR YOUR FAVORITE PROTEIN

SUMMARY:

Using the Gourmia™ Mini Smoker with Minuto® cooking wood chips, we infused wood smoke flavor into Maple Syrup for a smoked maple syrup! Use this smoked maple syrup marinade, as glaze recipes for pork roasts or boneless pork roast. Add to your marinade recipes, maple syrup glaze recipes, and handheld food smokers.

listen to the audio of this blog posting

 

A point that I regularly try to drive home is that when it comes to smoking foods and ingredients, it doesn’t have to be the traditional items thought of.  A great example of this is our Dijon Maple Marinade recipe that is especially good with pork.

When you don’t want to smoke the actual protein, think about smoking another ingredient that will be married to the pork.  For me, that was the maple syrup I use in my marinade recipe.  I’ll review for you the cold smoking technique for this and then provide my recipe for this great marinade that can be used on fish, chicken, turkey, pork, and goat.

The Simple Cold Smoke Method

I’m sure you’ve read or seen some type of information for cold smoking cocktails, cheese, salt, and spices.  This technique is easiest when you use one of the many types of handheld food smokers on the market today.

For my method of smoking maple syrup, I’ve selected the Gourmia® Mini Smoker which works best with a very clean, dust-free micro wood chip to produce the smoke for infusion.  This is easily available from SmokinLicious®, offering a variety of sizing to fit your need in 8 hardwood species.  I’ll be using the Minuto® Wood Chip Size #8 for this smoking infusion.

I’ve found the easiest method of smoking and maintaining the maple syrup, is to use a glass container like a wine bottle.  Just be sure that the container is completely clean and dry.

I place about one cup of maple syrup in the glass bottle.  Taking the tubing of the Gourmia® Mini Smoker, I place the end in the glass bottle.  Taking just a finger size pinch or two of the wood chips, I place in the handheld food smoker’s chip bowl and then ignite the wood chips with a lighter while turning the unit’s fan on.  Once the smoke is generated, I turn the unit’s van off and allow the bottle to fill with smoke.  Save a cork as you can use it to plug the bottle allowing for maximum infusion of the smoke.  Be sure to rotate the bottle to allow for the smoke to travel completely within the maple syrup.

Look at how nicely the glaze colors our pork roast- the maple syrup adds a nice sweet touch

The Smoked Maple Syrup Marinade Recipe

Once the maple syrup has been smoked, it’s time to collect the other ingredients and make our marinade.  Using equal parts smoked NYS maple syrup Grade A and Dijon mustard, I add 3 tablespoons of lime juice and fresh ground pepper and whisk until just combined.  Taking a storage bag, I place a 4 lb. boneless pork roast inside, then pour in my Smoked Maple Syrup-Dijon Marinade.  Sealing the bag, I place the bag in the refrigerator for a least 4 hours though I prefer to marinate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325° F.  Place the marinated roast in a roasting pan with rack.  This will take about 75 minutes to reach 145° F internal temperature.  About halfway through the cooking process, I rotate the cooking pan and spoon some of the pan juices back over the roast.  That will give it a beautiful bronze finish.  Remove from the oven and cut into ½” slices.  The Aroma-taste of pure maple joy with a smoky kick!

Bringing you great recipes for all types of food ingredients to grill, ember cook, hot smoke, and cold smoke.  We welcome your suggestions on foods you want to see smoked or charred so leave us a comment.  Don’t forget to subscribe for more great recipes, techniques, tips, and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor.

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

Additional reading:

-NOT JUST ANY MAPLE SYRUP!

-SALT FREE SPICE RUBS- HEALTHY CHOICES

-BBQ SHRIMP INSTANT GRATIFICATION!

-SMOKED HAM ON THE GAS GRILL

 

Dr Smoke

Dr. Smoke -Dazzle the taste buds of your friends with this smoked maple syrup marinade recipe