Almost every Sunday in kitchens across Northern Italy you’ll find a large pot of “Brodo di Carne” simmering on the stove.
The broth is used throughout the week in risottos and soups.
The meat is sliced up and served with pesto like sauce called “Salsa Verde” (not to be confused with the Mexican salsa of the same name) or “mostarda di cremona”.
I like to use the meat for sandwiches to go into packed lunches.
Sun Oven Italian Meat Broth
For the Broth
4 pounds beef chuck, with bone
2 small onions, peeled
2 carrots, peeled
2 celery stalks, with leaves
The moist, gentle heat of the Sun Oven is ideal for pot roast. A heavy cast iron Dutch oven is the best pot to use as it can be difficult to brown the meat in the light weight pots typically used for Sun Oven cooking.
Solar Braised Pot Roast
3 1/2 pound boneless chuck roast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
I’d be the first to admit that pasta, with the exception of baked pasta dishes such as lasagna or macaroni and cheese, is better when cooked the traditional way; in a large pot of rapidly boiling water. However, it is possible to make decent pasta in the Sun Oven. I’d just say it’s something I’d save for emergency situations, camping, or when I need something to blog about.
One Pot Sun Oven Pasta and Meatballs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup water
This is my favorite meat loaf recipe. It’s from the 1995 edition of the “Toaster Oven Cookbook” and is the only surviving page of my copy. It goes great with pasta and tomato sauce. Any leftovers can be used in sandwiches.
Solar Italian-Style Meat Loaf
1 pound ground beef
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten
It’s still cloudy here in southern California today but tonight’s ragù was made with leftovers from the solar braised ribs I blogged about yesterday. Paired with a salad and a good glass of wine it makes a great weeknight dinner. Make sure to set aside 1 cup of the onions and 1 cup of the sauce from the ribs to make this sauce. It’s more than enough for a pound of rigatoni.
Rigatoni with Beef Ragù
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup cooked onions leftover from braised chuck ribs
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 (14 ounce can) strained tomatoes
5 ounces leftover braised chuck ribs, shredded
1 cup leftover sauce from chuck ribs
2 tablespoons butter
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
1 pound rigatoni prepared according to the instructions on the package
Heat the oil and the garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the tomato paste. Stir in the cooked onions and the wine and cook until the wine evaporates. Stir in the tomatoes, the shredded meat, and the leftover sauce. Simmer until thickened, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Toss the sauce with the butter and rigatoni. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve immediately.
The past two days have been cloudy here but thanks to modern weather forecasting, a little planning, and some reheating we were still able to enjoy solar cooked meals. I got this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen’s “The Best Make-Ahead Recipe” cookbook. It called for beef brisket but I couldn’t find any that wasn’t brined for corned beef. I used boneless chuck short ribs instead. Using short ribs makes it easier to adapt the recipe to the number of portions you want to make. Just calculate one rib per person and adjust the other ingredients accordingly. Make enough for leftovers of the sauce, onions, and ribs; they can be used for French dip sandwiches or pasta sauce later in the week.
4 to 5 pounds boneless beef chuck ribs
Salt and pepper
Boneless beef short ribs (also know as country-style ribs) require long, slow cooking to tenderize them – just what the Sun Oven does best!
Solar Boneless Beef Short Ribs with Horseradish Cream
6 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
This roast is easy to make and packs a lot of flavor. It’s also easy to personalize; use wine instead of vinegar, throw in some mushrooms, add a little garlic, try different herbs – you get the idea. Make it your own.
Sun Oven Bottom Round Roast
Making meatloaf muffins has many advantages. They cook faster, make portion control easier, freeze well, and are fun to eat. Use your favorite meatloaf recipe or use mine which can be found by clicking here. Serve them with mashed potatoes or make some solar tomato sauce for spaghetti and meatballs. Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy cast iron pan like the one in the picture, any muffin pan, or even silicone cupcake molds, will work just fine; if not better. Whatever type of cookware you use, it will need to be covered with tin foil and a tea towel, or placed in an oven bag.
This stew is best when paired with a good crusty bread or some soft polenta to soak up the flavor packed juices. Any leftovers can be frozen for a quick week-night meal.
Sun Oven Mediterranean Beef Stew
1 pound boneless bottom round roast, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned, halved lengthwise, and sliced
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 cloves garlic, minced