Smoked Bone Broth – the idea came to me in a dream and plagued me for weeks before attempting it. It was an idea that I couldn’t shake and I had to get the experiment going and it was one that was worth the effort!
When conceiving the recipe it appeared to me that there was two options to make smoked broth:
- Smoke the bones and make a broth with them.
- Make a typical broth and smoke the broth.
I went with option 1. I learned that the smoke flavors were really strong at the beginning of the broth and faded the longer it cooked. I compensated for the loss of smoke by adding some bones at the end of the process (as you’ll see in the recipe) and the results were definitely smoky but difficult to control – I tend to cook my broth for 24 hours (or more) which leads to wonderful flavor but can diminish the smokiness. After roasting the bones on the BBQ I found that 8-10 hours of cold-smoking over hardwood was perfect for adding plenty of smoke to the bones that transferred well to the stock.
If you’re looking for a very smoky broth I’d consider placing the cooked broth in a stainless steel bowl and cold smoking it at the end (or skipping the initial process of smoking the bones and smoking a traditional broth as a final stage). I was happy with the subtle smokiness that this achieved and drank most of it from a cup while reserving some for a smoked onions soup.
Regardless of when you smoke your broth you will want to cold-smoke with hardwood. I used oak for this and it was lovely.
A few things to know:
- I am a big fan of charring onions for stock. Learn more about that here if you’re curious.
- Do not add salt to your stock – season it afterwards. Salt doesn’t evaporate but liquid does – by seasoning after you can control how salty you want your stock to be.
- If your stock tastes weak after straining you can reduce it further to dramatically increase the taste. If I’m using the broth to drink (i.e. not in soup) I will often reduce it far more than using it for soup which has other flavors.
- Don’t be surprised that a good stock (like this) turns to jelly in the fridge. It will return to soup when it’s warmed up and a firm set is a sign of a good stock.
SMOKED BONE BROTH (RECIPE)
- 10 pounds soup bones
- Cold Smoker
- 7 quarts cold water (to start)
- 6 ounces carrot (1 large, 2 medium), cut in large ¾ inch pieces
- 6 ounces celery (2-3 stalks), cut in large ¾ inch pieces
- 1 medium onion
- Place bones in a hot over or BBQ (400+ degrees) and roast, turning once or twice to brown on all sides.
- Move bones into BBQ/cold smoker (you may with to place them on a tray or foil to catch any drippings) and cold smoke for 8-10 hours.
- To make stock:
- Place 1 pound of bones in a sealed container in your fridge.
- Place remaining bones in a large stock pot and cover with water. Add carrots and celery.
- Cut onion in half and place in a dry cast-iron frying pan over high heat. Cook until onion is charred and burned.
- Barely simmer (look for a bubble to break the surface every 10-20 seconds) for 12-24 hours, skimming any fat that surfaces as you go. Add additional water if it drops below the level of the bones.
- Add the remaining bones in the last 2-3 hours of cooking. You will need to skim again but will find that this will raise the smokiness of your broth.
- Strain well and reduce until you have 4 quarts of stock. Cool in fridge. A layer of fat may congeal on the top and you can easily remove this once chilled.