HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Do you create unique foods? Get great advice

Grilled Beef and Bones for Stock???

kaleokahu Nov 28, 2010 08:01 PM

There I was, at my beach house (the one without a real oven), with about 10 pounds of beef shin and a 14-qt copper stocker. A nasty day outside, one meant for making stock. What to do?

Luckily, there was also a raincoat, a fresh bag of charcoal, and a Texas pity smoker outside, so I thought: Why not roast the bones and meat in the pit before loading the stocker? After breaking the bones and dropping a grate directly over the fire, a few minutes was all it took to get a good browning on both. Then I relocated the food to a roaster in the indirect part of the pit and worked the fire up to about 325F. After about 90 minutes, into the stocker with aromatics as usual, for a 12-hour process.

Three days later, I made French Onion Soup according to Thomas Keller's now-famous recipe. While the onions were caramelizing, I reduced the stock by half, and finished per instructions.

This was one of the best FOSs I've ever made. So I'm wondering... Does anyone else have a "trick" for using the BBQ/grill as a start for stocks? This stock was SO much better than the same stuff roasted in a conventional oven, the contrast was amazing. Someone, please explain.

  1. greygarious Nov 29, 2010 11:43 AM

    Probably the flavor difference is due to the hotter initial roasting with the grill. Oven roasting doesn't get as hot. There may also have been a difference in the amount of meat in your stock. Making beef stock requires a lot more meat than does a comparable volume of chicken stock. Perhaps you had more meat and bones than usual?

    1 Reply
    1. re: greygarious
      kaleokahu Nov 29, 2010 12:14 PM

      greygarious: No, the meat and bones were in the normal proportion (for me) to the water, about 10 lbs of bones with meat and about a 6-lb roast for extra. And with the aromatics and everything inside the stocker, the total starting volume was about 4G. At the finished end, I got exactly 1G of stock.

      My fire was just charcoal. I omitted my usual fruitwood for fear of bitterness. As it was, a very slight "sourness" could be tasted up to the time of first straining, then dissipated. I associated this with the smoke. As the onions were caramelizing, I reduced 3 pints of the stock by another 1/3. It threw another scum, and the sourness was completely gone after skimming. While the FOS was simmering, the remainder of the stock was reduced to a glaze for later this week.

      I think you might be right about the heat. Never got close to a char in the oven before. Next batch I'll try broiling the meat and bones to near black and see how it compares to the pit..

    2. s
      sedimental Nov 29, 2010 09:47 AM

      I do this with my gas BBQ and my wood fire oven as time allows. I think beef has a natural affinity for the open fire. I also roast my chicken bones and veg in the wood fire oven for stock making too. I prefer the flavor that the wood coals impart (without tasting Smokey) and I really do think it makes superior stock.

      Show Hidden Posts