Since we tend to use our ovens for longer periods of time during the cooler months it’s always worthwhile to consider preparing several dishes at one time. Each of the dishes in this meal are easy to make but to make all three at one time takes a little planning.
It only takes 10 - 12 minutes for the initial cooking stage for the Short Ribs before they go into the oven for a good 2 hours so obviously get those done first even a day in advance.
Now prepare the squash. First you need to carefully cut them in half and scoop out the seeds then the squash need to be baked or steamed to soften the flesh before stuffing. If you are using your Combi Steam Oven to steam them you can steam the grains for the stuffing at the same time.
Allow approximately 15 minutes to steam the squash and during that time you can saute the vegetables that will be mixed with the grains for the stuffing.
Prepare the bread pudding. Soak the cubed bread in the egg mixture while you saute the apples. The caramel sauce goes together really quickly just before serving.
The bread pudding and stuffed squash can be baked in the oven at the same time and the short ribs can either be warmed on the cooktop or in the oven.
Chipotle Braised Short Ribs
4 - 5lbs beef short ribs, about 8 (2 per person)
2 - tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
2 - tablespoons, butter
1 - medium onion, coarsely chopped
4 - cloves,garlic, pressed
3 - ounces brandy or medium sherry (measured out don’t pour from the bottle)
¼ - teaspoon dried mixed Italian seasoning
1 - bay leaf
1 - 14oz can whole tomatoes
2 - tablespoons tomato paste
1 - cup beef broth
1 - tablespoon chilis in Adobo
Preheat the oven Convection or Convection Bake 300 (small ovens, 325 larger ovens)
Pat the short ribs dry and season with salt and pepper.
Heat a large heavy pan over moderate heat and add the oil and butter.
Place the short ribs in the pan, meaty side down and leave to brown for a few minutes then turn and brown the other side. When browned all over, reduce the heat and remove from the pan.
Stir in the onion and cook to soften over moderate heat then stir in the garlic and cook for a minute before carefully adding the brandy to the pan and let it cook for a minute or so.
Now add in the remaining ingredients breaking up the tomatoes with a fork as they soften.
Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, cover and place in the oven to cook for approximately 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.
Allow the meat to cool in the pan and be sure to skim off any fat that solidifies on the surface before reheating.
Baked Stuffed Winter Squash
3 - small carnival or acorn squash
½ - cup quinoa, barley or bulgur (all make a good stuffing)
1 - tablespoon olive oil
2 - tablespoons butter
½ - medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 - cloves garlic, minced
¼ - teaspoon dried oregano
½ - lb crimini or shiitake mushrooms
½ - bunch lacinto kale or chard, ribs removed, leaves finely chopped.
Preheat the Steam Oven in the Steam Mode or the Convection Oven in Convection Bake 350
Carefully cut the squash in half so each forms a nice sized bowl. Scoop out the seeds and enough of the flesh to allow room for stuffing. You can always chop any excess squash and add into the stuffing.
Place the squash on a solid pan and steam for 15 - 20 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. If cooking in the Convection oven be sure to add a ¼ cup of water to the pan and cover the squash with foil.
Place the quinoa or other grain in a solid pan and cover with 1 cup of water and steam at the same time as you cook the squash. Meanwhile, saute the vegetables for the stuffing.
Heat a medium skillet over moderate heat and add the oil and butter, stir in the onion and cook to soften. Add the garlic and oregano and stir in the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms release their juices then stir in the chopped greens. Cover and cook over low heat for 8 - 10 minutes before stirring in the cooked grains.
Grains can also be added directly to the pan with some water and cooked covered after the greens have been added.
Taste for seasoning before adding to the partially cooked squash.
Bake uncovered in the Convection Bake Mode 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes.
Caramel Sauce Apple Bread Pudding
1 - loaf cinnamon challah bread cubed
6 - large eggs
½ - cup granulated sugar
2 - cups half and half
3 - tablespoons butter
3 - tablespoons brown sugar
4 - apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 - ounces brandy
Place the cubed bread in a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar and half and half and pour over the bread to soak. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over moderate heat, add the butter and brown sugar and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the apples and cook for 8 - 10 minutes until softened and slightly caramelized.
Stir in the brandy and cook for a few more minutes, cool before adding to the bread mixture.
Scrape the contents into an oven safe casserole and bake Convection Bake 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes until the custard is set.
½ - cup brown sugar
4 - tablespoons butter
½ - cup heavy cream
Melt the sugar and butter in a small heavy pan over moderate heat. When the sugar has dissolved and has become liquid, carefully stir in the cream and remove from the heat.
Pour over the cooked bread pudding before serving.