Informal party food - big pan stuff for a crowd

(32 Posts)
LowLevelWhinging Sun 16-Feb-14 20:23:17

What would you want to see at a gathering of 20 odd friends?

We always do curries for our parties - easy but predictable!

Chilli is a bit dull, no?

so, maybe a stew with dauphinoise potatoes? easy to cook in advance.

or pies perhaps? then easy to have a meat version and a veggie.

or pasta bake type things?

any thoughts?

At my last birthday party we had about 20 guests and my mum, who's a better cook than me, served 2 massive lasagnes and a huge pot of coq au vin. Ample servings for all and plenty left. Delicious!

nkf Sun 16-Feb-14 20:26:09

I like chilli. Is it dull? I don't see it. Curry too. Yum. And stew with dauphinoise potatoes. I'm not being very helpful am I? Not the pasta bake so much. That does seem a bit dull.

LaundryLegoLunch Sun 16-Feb-14 20:26:22

I've done fajitas before. Veggie, chicken and beef. Loads of dippy/tortilla chips type snacks to go with.

nkf Sun 16-Feb-14 20:27:16

I once went to a party where they served goulash. That was good. Really good in fact. Would that be a bit different?

BikeRunSki Sun 16-Feb-14 20:28:33

I was also going to say lasagna. Meat and veg options
Salmon/beef/mushroom Wellington
Beef /mushroom stroganoff

I'm always satisfied with veggie chilli, soured cream, cheese, homemade guac etc. Or a curry tbh!

Couple of tagines, cous cous, Moroccan-esque salads, olives etc?

Or a load of meat and veggie sausages, loads of fried onions, baguettes, salad?

BikeRunSki Sun 16-Feb-14 20:29:08

Fondue

When I have a party I always do a slow roast meat and sides. I've done leg of lamb slow cooked in harissa then shredded and served with bowls of cous cous, salad and wraps . Others I've done include chipotle brisket with soft rolls and bbq pulled pork with subs. It always does down well and can be put in the oven in the morning then forgotten about while you do everything else.

Primadonnagirl Sun 16-Feb-14 20:30:49

Big jambalaya ..you can do meat and veggie versions

Oooh, if you're feeling exceptionally wealthy, hire a PIG ROAST!! [drooling]

diddlediddledumpling Sun 16-Feb-14 20:36:02

I like a big pot of chicken/chorizo/potato/tomato stew. Can add in butter beans/peppers too. Serve with lots of crusty bread.

Please EnglishGirl, tell me about the chipotle brisket, it sounds divine!

[[ smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/01/southwestern-pulled-brisket/ brisket recipe]]
diddle I use this one but use dried chipotle and put loads in as we like it hot!

Snowdown Sun 16-Feb-14 20:43:55

Slow roast of pork, shred and serve with BBQ sauce and good quality bread and maybe a few salad. Chilli is fine, but it's hard to get the heat right for a big group - serve a good chipotle sauce to cat for the chilli heads and good side to lift the flavours. Homemade guacamole is always surprisingly good if you can get hold of perfectly rip avocados. A big pot of soup with bread is a welcome starter if needed. Love the tagine and couscous idea too with a few salads to lift it.
Big no to pasta - you can't keep it from going soft and frankly unpleasant unless you scream at people to eat and stop talking. Baked potatoes are easy to do in massive quantities and always go down well if they are served along side plenty of salt and butter! Rice will not be as forgiving but it will make the grade....bread will wait on anyone.

LowLevelWhinging Sun 16-Feb-14 20:47:16

ooh good ideas her peeps!

I wonder how joints of meat would work out financially compared to meat for stew/curry?

Snowdown Sun 16-Feb-14 20:51:41

So sorry for all my typos - too much wine and a lack of proof reading - when will I learn?

diddlediddledumpling Sun 16-Feb-14 20:53:00

Supermarkets often have one type of meat joint on offer, I usually buy and freeze. I've got pork shoulder joints that say on the front they serve 15, for about £10-12.

diddlediddledumpling Sun 16-Feb-14 20:53:47

Thank you, EnglishGirl! Have saved that.

earlyriser Sun 16-Feb-14 20:54:09

In Scotland it would be a massive pan of stovies (can do a veggie version) served with oatcakes and beetroot. So easy to prepare in advance, soaks up the booze nicely and is super easy to eat with only a fork.

nkf Sun 16-Feb-14 20:56:27

Ooh. Stovies. Recipe please. And do you mean those little round oatcakes. And beetroot. Sounds interesting.

LowLevelWhinging Sun 16-Feb-14 20:58:20

yes please to stovies recipe earlyriser!

and how on earth would you do a veggie version? confused

earlyriser Sun 16-Feb-14 20:59:11

I'm veggie, but the meaty one contains fried onions, sliced potatoes and leftover meat, cooked down to a stodge with gravy salt, And served with either round oatcakes or more traditionally triangular shaped ones (stockens or homemade). Picked beetroot to give it a bit of colour and bite!
Everyone has their own recipe so other scots may disagree with the above grin

earlyriser Sun 16-Feb-14 21:00:09

Veggie one is as above but minus the meat (and maybe a few carrots or leeks for added flavour)

earlyriser Sun 16-Feb-14 21:01:51
nkf Sun 16-Feb-14 21:04:52

I like the look of that. It's basically a hash right? I am not a fan of beetroot. What about some red cabbage?

LowLevelWhinging Sun 16-Feb-14 21:23:18

aha, you mean mince and tatties! grin

earlyriser Sun 16-Feb-14 21:41:25

Noooo!!! although that recipe says mince, most would make it from the leftovers of the Sunday roast, so it would be chunks of beef rather than mince. Hash is more like it.

HighBrows Sun 16-Feb-14 21:51:01

I love spinach and ricotta cannelloni, I use this recipe here

HighBrows Sun 16-Feb-14 21:54:24

And a meat one yum

isthereanynameavailable Sun 16-Feb-14 22:18:42

Haggis, neeps and tatties. You could prepare it all in advance and layer into a big deep dish, haggis on the bottom then mashed neeps and top with mashed potato. It'll keep warm in the oven or I've used my slow cooker. Serve with onion gravy, whiskey gravy or peppercorn sauce or a choice of all three.

You could do a meat and a veggie one.

hulahoopsilove Mon 17-Feb-14 09:43:53

At NYE I had the same problems so did the following and it went down a storm - had 3 big pans on the table so people could help themselves:

Chicken Chinese Curry - mild, plain, simple
Lamb Rogan Josh - lots of green red peppers fresh coriander
Italian Beef meatballs - tomatoey and garlicy

then next to them the following:

Jacket potatoes
Plain rice
Garlic Bread
Grated Parmasan
Mixed salad

everyone just helped themselves and really enjoyed the food

Waswondering Mon 17-Feb-14 09:45:48

On her website, Nigella has a chilli for 20 that is topped with cornbread. Looks lovely. Served with salsa, guacamole, sour cream etc.

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