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Lunch for 25 - must do as much as possible day before

(16 Posts)
sootballs Sat 25-Jul-15 15:15:35

Hi MN Foodies

I am helping out an informal weekend party for my mums 70th later on in August, friends from all over the country. There are three meals in total over the weekend and I am tasked with organising catering for the lunch on the Sunday for guests staying from other areas. Because of lack of house space at mine we have hired a hall closer to my mums house which we know has a large fridge, freezer and a double oven/hob. I want/need to cook as much as is possible the day/evening before and then reheat if I can as the venue is about 15 miles from mine. I am not sticking to a strict budget but I'm also not particularly well off.

There will be 25 people, including five children between 5y - 12y.

I have arranged for others to bring salads (green salad, tomato & cous cous type salad, cucumber & sour cream, tabbouleh), and a cousin making a large and tasty vegetarian quiche.

I'm also paying to have a friend make the cake, little shortbread biscuits, as well as a large fruit salad. its her business so hence payment

BUT. I thought as its less formal then I would do a large slow roast pork joint in my slow cooker and then do pulled pork for guests to help themselves and stiff into fresh rolls. As well as some sort of glazed chicken roasted the day before as not everyone likes pork.

If I cook the pork the day before how do I reheat in the oven on the Sunday without it going dry? Plus without causing food poisoning confused

I was also going to do another vegetarian option but its years since I did anything like this and not sure what to offer that could be stuck in rolls except cheese. And I was hoping to avoid cheese.


PotteringAlong Sat 25-Jul-15 17:51:21

Can't you just take your slow cooker to the hall, plug it in there and cook the pork there overnight?

sootballs Sat 25-Jul-15 18:29:05

That would be a good plan but we cannot get access to the hall until 10.30.

I suspect they'd also be a bit grumpy about fire risk.

chocolatedonut Sat 25-Jul-15 18:35:58

Could you slow cook at home with perfect timings, unplug just before leaving and take with you then plug back in on the "warm" setting?

janeymary Sat 25-Jul-15 18:37:26

agree with doing it overnight either at there or if at home it would keep hot with the lid on while you transport it. How about a huge bowl of coleslaw. prepare the day before and take it with you - just add the mayo when you get there. Or buy loads of those tiny new potatoes that are in the supermarkets now. Boil them till almost cooked (no need to peel them) the day before. When they're cool moisten with oil, salt and squeeze a couple of lemons over them. Optional - add loads (really loads) of black cracked pepper. Take them in a couple of roasting dishes and when you get there 2 mins in a really hot oven to crisp up. they are good.

sootballs Sat 25-Jul-15 18:46:30

Actually that could work - mine doesn't have a timer but could easily get up and switch it on at 4am ish. Then put it in straw and plug it back in at the hall.

Anyone have a good recipe?!

sootballs Sat 25-Jul-15 18:53:36

I appreciate all the help btw. I realise now that catering for 25 is a bit different to catering for 8.


PotteringAlong Sat 25-Jul-15 19:36:55

I'd just bung it in with a can of cider. Delicious!

PotteringAlong Sat 25-Jul-15 19:37:50

Could you get those part baked baguettes? Warm bread is lovely and would save getting fresh.

sootballs Sun 26-Jul-15 15:25:24

Part baked baguettes - genius idea, otherwise I will find it difficult to keep the ultra squishy type rolls fresh overnight. And I am not going shopping on the Sunday morning!

Can I cook with cider given there will be children eating it?

PotteringAlong Sun 26-Jul-15 17:49:45

Yes, all the alcohol will burn off. Use apple juice if you're worried?

sootballs Sun 26-Jul-15 19:43:08

Last question - honest - and thank you

How big a joint do I need?

PotteringAlong Sun 26-Jul-15 21:43:58

Honestly? I couldn't even guess! Do you have a good butcher near you you could ask?

Foodteacher Sun 26-Jul-15 21:46:56

I tend to do about 1/2 a shoulder (about 5kg) - go bigger if you can as mine does 10 - 12 for Sunday dinner + take away sandwiches for all. If you get the joint 'bone in' it will take longer to cook so you don't need to get up in the middle of the night.
Start it about 1/2 hour before you want to go to bed.
I usually put a couple of full carrots, !/2 onions and a stick of celery in a large roasting tin. Rub the skin (scored) with corse salt and any other seasoning (this can be fennel and chilli or just mixed herbs from the garden - recipes on the internet will give loads of ideas) It does work ok with just salt! Pour a bottle of cider into the roasting tin (or apple juice, white wine or even water - don't really like cola version).
Preheat oven to highest setting (make sure the joint fits in before it gets too hot) Put Pork in and, after about 10 mins, turn it down to 150. You should then make sure the liquid is at least half way up the joint, cover it with a double layer of foil, close the kitchen door (or you will be woken up feeling hungry!) and leave until morning.
If you want crackling, remove foil, turn oven to 200 and leave until skin is crispy.
It will need about 30mins (or more) resting time, which you can do on the way to the venue. What time are you serving it?
Hope that helps.

TendonQueen Sun 26-Jul-15 21:52:51

All sounds good above. My only suggestion is hummus for a vegetarian option for rolls instead of cheese - maybe with cucumber or red pepper slices. Easy to get a few big tubs to just be slapped onto rolls instead of faffing with cheese.

Foodteacher Sun 26-Jul-15 22:13:26

I've used this recipe before for meat free sandwiches. It does work quit well.
Or, if you are doing a slaw, you could just get some chicken style quorn and serve that with it. A veggi bbq sauce might also liven it up.

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