Smoked Lamb Bones
If you make your own stock or bone broth at home, you have to try making your own smoked lamb or goat bones!
Every year during butchery season I make a few batches of bacon cure to make lamb bacon and/or venison bacon. Inevitably I end up having some of the cure left over and try to find some creative uses for it. One day after harvesting and butchering lamb on the farm, I had lots of bones and bacon cure left over, so I started smoking them.
If you like the flavor of bacon (who doesn’t) you’ll love smoked lamb bones.
The first few times I made these, I used my lamb bacon cure since I was trying to use it up. Know that using the bacon cure will add a bit of sweetness to the broth, which you may or may not want depending on how you’d like to use the finished broth. It’s just fine to season the bones with only salt and pepper and then smoke them too-be creative and see what you can come up with.
How to use them
Your smoked bones are a sort of concentrate, a seasoning if you will, that you can add to anything that’s liquid or needs to simmer. Here’s a few ideas.
- Tuck a bone into a pot of chili as it cooks for a subtle smokey flavor.
- Make smoked lamb bone broth for drinking and cooking (recipe below).
- Add a bone to your favorite soup for a great smoky flavor, especially cold-weather soups like split pea and ham, and bean soups.
- Adding just one bone to ANY soup will give it a great smoky depth: chicken noodle soup, tomato soup, nettle soup, minestrone or your favorite vegetable soup-anywhere you’d like a little extra flavor.
- For a quick, cheap, cooking stock, use a bone or two, and lots of carrot, onion and celery. Think of it like making vegetable broth scented with meat.
This recipe is by Chef Alan Bergo, the Forager Chef. A chef from Minnesota, Alan is a culinary industry veteran, former executive chef of acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant, and the Salt Cellar. Author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora, he’s one of the most respected voices in the world of foraging and wild food. He’s best known as the founder of Forager Chef, his website focused on wild ingredients that reaches millions of readers each year. Learn more about Chef Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at foragerchef.com.
Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.
Smoked Lamb or Goat Bones
- 3 lbs Lamb or goat bones-whatever you have
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- Other seasonings, your choice your favorite dry rub (decrease the salt if it's seasoned) a few sprinkles of dried herbs or whatever you have on hand. Or just salt and pepper.
- Season the bones with salt and pepper all over. You can also season the bones with your favorite dry rub. Be creative.
- Allow the bones to rest overnight in the fridge (optional).
- Smoke the bones at 250 for 2-3 hours, or until they're dark and burnished looking. Cool the bones, then put into a freezer bag and freeze. Remove the bones a few at a time as needed. Kept in the freezer they'll last for months.
Lamb or Goat Bone Broth
- Slow Cooker
- 3-4 lbs Lamb and goat bones Your choice *
- 1 small Carrot Small amount, cut into large pieces
- 1 small Yellow onion Small amount, peeled and cut into large pieces
- 1 Rib of celery Small amount, cut into large pieces
- Kosher salt to taste
- small sprigs of rosemary for serving - optional
- ground black pepper for serving - optional
- lemon juice for serving - optional
- Preheat the oven to 350. Roast the bones for 1 hour in cast iron pans, or alternately, baking sheets lined with parchment for easy cleanup can be used.
- Drain the fat from the pans and reserve for another use or discard. Put the bones in a slow cooker with the vegetables, top off the pot with water, and set on low for 24 hours, and as long as 48, topping off with fresh water if the level gets far below the bones for periods of extended cooking.
- Remove the bones, strain the stock, season to taste with salt, then chill completely to set the fat. Skim off the fat from the chilled broth, then refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze until needed. Chef Bergo prefers to freeze his, since thawing in a pan is quick and easy.
- To serve the bone broth, heat some of the broth, seasoning with a few cracks of the pepper mill and a dash of fresh lemon juice. Put a small rosemary sprig into a mug for each person, then pour steaming hot broth into the mugs and serve.