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Very smoked beef as a "flavoring device"

Prof DanProf Dan Posts: 339
edited 5:39AM in EggHead Forum
The first time I made baked beans on the Egg in a dutch oven, I didn't get the smoke flavor I wanted. [Part of the problem was that I didn't use any ham or oil, trying to save calories.] And I have tried liquid smoke in the past, but it has an odd chemical taste.[p]So I came up with a simple idea, and it worked: I added "very smoked beef" to the beans. I started with a cheap London broil, and I sliced it into strips about an inch thick. I put the strips on a slow, smoky fire at 225 for two and a half hours, turning the strips every 45 minutes or so. They weren't quite jerky, but they were very smoky and dry without being bitter or charred. I froze a bag full of the strips.[p]When I went to make the beans, I diced a couple of smoke strips and tossed them into the beans. They added a great flavor, without any noticeable fat. [This should work for things like split pea soup and chili, too.][p]It's not the same taste as ham; it gives the food more of a "cowboy" taste than the Southern flavor you would get from pork.[p]Now that I have my bag full of smoke flavor in the freezer, I can easily smoke up anything: scrambled eggs, or salsa, or rice, or baked potatoes. [Like bacon bits.][p]Any other ideas on how I can inflict more smoke flavor on my long-suffering family? Pancakes, maybe?[p]

Comments

  • Prof Dan,
    Why don't you just leave the lid off? I cook beans this way all the time for 3-4 hours and they have plenty of smokiness.

  • djm5x9djm5x9 Posts: 1,342
    brunswick3.jpg
    <p />Jolly Roger:[p]That is what works for me with Brunswick stew . . .
    [/b]
  • Prof Dan,[p]I have done some similar things with pulled pork, and some real-smokey-but-not-quite-jerky flank I made.[p]My favorite trick is to use leftover smoked, or spatchcocked chicken carcasses (carcassii?) for making real stock.[p]Not only do you get the benefits of real stock over broth (improved mouth feel) but you get a great grilled or smoked flavor in there to boot! With this stock you've got a great base for soups, or as a liquid in rice or beans (pancakes!) whatever.[p]Now I'm hungry,
    bc
    Sammamish, WA

  • djm5x9,
    A beautiful pot of stew! And I don't think I see any lima beans in it, which is the way it should be......WITHOUT lima beans! Boy, bet we hear back from this! Great pic.

  • Prof DanProf Dan Posts: 339
    Jolly Roger,[p]I tried it that way but the smoke just didn't get absorbed -- don't know why. Could be that I didn't use any pork, or it could be that there was no oil. I stirred it up every hour or so, but no luck.[p]So this "beef flavoring" technique is another way of accomplishing the same result. I don't know if it's as good, but it's very easy.

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    bc,
    Yeah, you're so right about using Egg-roasted chicken/turkey bone for stock. No comparison to packaged broth. Bean soup made from this is extraordinary; lovely rich flavor and delicate smokiness without adding any pork or ham. If I don't have time to boil down the bones right away, I freeze them and make the stock later on. And yes, I'm hungry now, too.
    Cheers,
    Gretl

  • Prof Dan,
    I don't get it. Having meat in your beans is not going to help you any to absorb smoke.[p]I don't think you're either:
    A: using enough smoke
    B: not cooking the beans long enough[p]Beans ain't like meat, that can absorb too much smoke. You gotta let the beans, 'crust up', then stir them up, let them 'crust up' again, stir them up, etc until they get real thick. [p]How hot is your fire? You should only have a slow 'bubble' not a boil. Sometimes my beans take 5 hours at 200-225.[p]

  • Gretl,
    Yuppers, not only do I often have a bag-o-bones in the freezer, the stock itself freezes nicely too.[p]I've heard of some folks using an ice cube tray to freeze stock, but for me I usually use large quantities.[p]Here’s what I do now: After making stock, I’ll pour two cup quantities into any containers I have close by. I then freeze those containers over night, then pop the frozen stock out into large foodsaver bags, and then vacuum seal ‘em.[p]This way, I’ve always got stock ready to go in handy measurements, and I don’t use up all my containers storing it.[p]Had lunch, I’m better now,
    bc

  • Prof DanProf Dan Posts: 339
    Jolly Roger,[p]Great tips! Thanks! I did have it on a higher heat, and I didn't let it crust up. How often do you stir it?[p]Thanks again.

  • Prof DanProf Dan Posts: 339
    bc,[p]Do you boil down the stock? Is there a recipe for stock? It sounds different from regular chicken soup. And what do you use it for?[p][Sorry if these are naive questions, but I just make chicken soup from scratch. Sounds like I'm missing out on something.]

  • MarvMarv Posts: 177
    Prof Dan, I did smoked hard boiled eggs that turned out quite well. Also olives.
    Marv

  • djm5x9djm5x9 Posts: 1,342
    Gloria:[p]You are right! If it has vegetables other than tomatoes, corn and maybe a little onion it ain't Brunswick stew!
    [/b]
  • Prof Dan,
    I knew SOMETHING was afoot![p]There's not a formula to it, just check it after the first two hours. The top of the pan should have a dull look to it. Just stir it up real good and then leave it alone. Check it once an hour and stir as needed.[p]The only thing I do, is when the beans really start to thicken up, I'll let it crust up once more and then leave the crust on it. IMHO it helps keep the heat in and allow the beans to keep cooking. When you get ready to serve, stir it up again.

  • Prof Dan,
    Here's probably more than you wanted to know![p]While a lot of people and recipes may use the terms "stock" and "broth" interchangeably, they really are two different things.
    What it boils down to (of course that was intended!) is that broth is made from meat while stock is made from bones. Soup can contain broth and stock, or just broth. I ‘spose it could contain just stock, but that would be a very heavy soup!
    While broth comes out only negligibly more viscous than water, stock contains a lot of gelatin dissolved from the bones. I’ve made stocks before that completely congeal in the fridge. It looks disgusting; don’t let the guests see you use it! Of course in a warm dish, the gelatin will be dissolved completely[p]What it does do is provide what a lot of folks refer to as “Mouth Feel”. This is a sensation of substance. Not fatty, just more full, rounded flavors. When the stock comes from Egged chicken carcasses, you get a TON of extra flavor too![p]To me this kind of stock is essential for any flavored rice dishes like paella. Add it to soups, sauces, whatever calls for stock (even though most recipes assume broth now).[p]Here’s how I make it (with apologies for the lack of precision; this is how I cook)
    1 chicken carcass and meat scraps (as whole as you can get it. Yes, get that drumstick outta junior’s mouth, and keep the back when you spatchcock it. You can even smoke the neck in the egg too!)
    handful of celery chopped coarse or just broken with your hands
    handful carrots treated as above
    couple bay leaves lightly crushed
    black pepper (Fresh coarse ground. Duh!)
    Leave the salt out for now. Remember, just like salt, this is an ingredient[p]Toss all the ingredients in to a large stock pot (hmm, interesting name!) and add enough water to cover everything plus a bit more.
    Bring to a boil, then back down to a simmer for three hours. After the initial boil you should skim the foam off the top.[p]After the 3 hour simmer, strain everything through a good strainer, or cheesecloth, etc. And throw out the solids, their work is finished here.[p]Toss the liquid in the fridge, and the next morning you can scrape away any solids (fat) that forms on the top. It’s ready for use or storage![p]The term “Stock” apparently comes from the fact that this ingredient is so important in so many dishes that cooks should always have it on stock. (Don’t ask me the etymology of “Spatchcocked though!)[p]
    Hope this helps!
    Bc
    Sammamish, WA

  • Ca_rnivoreCa_rnivore Posts: 120
    Marv ,[p]Did you use Reg's recipe for the smoked eggs, or another recipe?[p]I did Reg's recipe just after Easter and man oh man were they good! My family doesn't eat alot of eggs, but we scarfed down 2 dozen in about an hour.[p]--Kevin

  • WudEyeDooWudEyeDoo Posts: 201
    bc,
    Great post. Thanks for the education on stock/broth.

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    bc,
    Your explanation is divine. When's dinner?
    Cheers,
    Gretl

  • MarvMarv Posts: 177
    Ca_rnivore, I have not seen Reg's receipe for eggs, so I can not really say. I found one in one of many smoke/bbq cook books I have.[p]Marv

  • Dear bc,[p]I just read this post and hope it's not too late to pass on a tip I learned at a cooking class in New Orleans. The term "frugal" was demonstrated when making stock. The teacher suggested that onion ends/peels, carrot ends/peels, celery ends/leaves, asparagus ends or any mild vegetable waste be saved in a ziplock bag in the freezer. When cutting up chicken, backs and wing tips would be saved in a similar manner. When there were enough vegetables and bones accumulated, it would be time to make stock. The vegetables and bones would be placed in a pot and covered with water. A small amount of salt would be added to draw out the meat juices/flavor. This would be done before going to bed. The heat setting would be the lowest and the stock would be done upon wakening in the morning, The stock would be then strained and chilled in fridge so fat could be removed. It could then be reheated and cooked more if necessary to concentrate flavors prior to using or freezing. I have used this method with great success and have been frugal with my ingredients and my time. Now I will make it with Egged chicken bones. I imagine it will be close to browned bone stock which is the base for the very delicious Sauce Robert![p]Ellen
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