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Help! Bitten off more than I can chew cooking for 20(26 Posts)
A bit late but I'm starting to freak out about feeding 20 people for Christmas. I have a double oven but 3 joints of meat will take that up. How the heck do I do all the potatoes and Yorkshire puds. Any advice and I'll love you forever! Thanks
Take the meat out to rest and put the other things in. Large joints will stay hot enough covered in foil.
I think you'll have to do the potatoes once at least one joint has come out to rest... You don't say which meats you are doing but beef and lamb in particular benefit from a good long resting time. Roasties that have been thoroughly parboiled will crisp up in a hot oven in 30 mins ish, if you can wrap the meat up well it won't go too cold while it rests (serve on hot plates), and if it has chilled off then whack it back in a warm oven for 5 mins at the end. Other veg can be done on the hob? Good luck!
For the yorkies I'd probably buy aunt Bessie's tbh I'm normally a total make from scratch person but yorkies have too much potential to go wrong for me and the ready made ones are perfectly good and cook really quickly which is a bonus
I often cook for a lot of people, we have many family celebrations.
Parboil potatoes and roast the day before until they are almost ready, you can then shove them in the oven for about 20 minutes on a very high heat - they are delicious. If you are roasting vegetables you can also cook the day before. I use a steamer for other veg as it saves space on the hob.
I always rest the meat for about 30 mins, carve and wrap in foil, this way the meat is still warm and when you pour hot gravy onto the plate it warms the meat up.
Serve onto warm plates.
Have a fab time
You guys are all amazing. I already feel better. I feel like I knew this but needed someone to tell me it fine haha. Def taking all these tips on board :-)
Potatoes should only go in once meat is out anyway so I wouldn't worry about that. Peel the day before and keep in a tub of water. Cover meat with foil and tea towel to keep warm
If you are doing home made yorkshires and are worried, one year I made some a couple of days before and froze them so just had to defrost. Still taste far superior to factory made. But with a double oven, you could do 2 trays of Yorkshires in one and 2 trays of potatoes + pigs in blankets in the other. I've cooked for ten with a single oven.
Also I would write out your timings working backwards from lunch time and ensure everyone serves themselves from serving dishes as you do not want to be plating up x 20! I normally need someone to help with chucking things in serving dishes and taking to table while I run around.
@Pegase great tip! I better get a project plan on the go
I always cooked yorkshires first , just make sure they are cooked to a dry consistency so they don't sink too much
I always cook beef and turkey for Christmas , and have been known to cook the beef the day before , cook it rare , then when completely cool , slice and a quick blast in microwave to warm through
If you are putting everything into dishes for guests to serve themselves , try to get serving dishes and plates as warm as possible , and split the elements into as many serving dishes as you can as it can descend into chaos when passing dishes round
Put the gravy out as hot as possible in as many jugs as you can find , and put it out last as at least that will keep the food warm
And as everyone has said Meat needs a long rest anyway , so parboil your potatoes , heat the oil in a saucepan first and put straight in oven
Dont over cater ! ( I always do ) , do a time plan for what needs to go in when to be ready by the time you want to dish up
Have a few drinks , expect something to go wrong , its not the end of the world
Get everyone to help clean up ....find the sprouts you forgot to put out
drink some more
I'd definitely go premade yorkies in this situation. If the meat is all out resting, when you roast the potatoes/parsnips stick the oven up really high and spread them out into as many roasting tins as you have - the more room there is in the tray the quicker they will roast.
Definitely warm plates.
Sounds like a lovely day in the making!
Depending on your oven the yorkies are the trickiest as the temperature can be variable in the oven with all the door opening and closing which doesn’t allow it to get up to heat.
preperation is key - not just the food but think about what serving dishes you are going to use for what, what serving spoons you will need, lay the table early (or get someone else to do it)
Make a list of everything, work out how long it will take to cook and what shelf in the oven or hob you will use. Then rearrange your list to time order and on the day just work your way down and put things in the oven when needed (i normally add a little extra time as a full oven takes longer to cook when lots of stuff in it.
Part cook any roasting vegetables the day before. They just need finishing off when the meat comes out.
Jamie gravy can be made in advance.
I do my Yorkshire pudding the day before too, they just need warming for 5 minutes.
Meat needs to rest so wrap it in foil and then thick towels, it will be yummy.
Could people bring things ready for you (swede, cauliflower cheese, red cabbage)?
Don't worry, extra wine helps most people. And, if you end on a good dessert most things will be forgiven.
Have you got a slow cooker? I do my meat in there. Put on low the night before - lovely and tender
I'm doing my gammon in the slow cooker, tested it last week cooked in Apple juice and it was great. My slow cooker is a bit small for 20 people though.
This may be almost tantamount to sacrilege, but I wouldn't bother with Yorkshire Puds for Xmas as there is so much other stuff on the plates. Roast potatoes in the oven(s) after the bird comes out. On the hob you can do your sprouts, parsnips/carrots and gravy. Also bread sauce. That is four rings....quite enough to keep you occupied/crazy. At least 3 serving dishes. I tend to go for large serving dishes in to which you can put all the veg together so when Aunty Maud is serving herself she can do it all at once rather than passing dishes here, there and everywhere. Meat and Roasties can go in another 2 or 3 dishes.
I may have two electric food warmers bought just for Christmas, it makes life much easier.
@Livebythecoast ooh I do have a slow cooker. But I like my beef a little bit pink. And the turkey won't fit in it, haha
@4merlyknownasSHD I do see what you mean about the Yorkshire puddings but my family would disown me 🙈
@Disfordarkchocolate I'm to have a look for one. My grandma used to have one and I remember it being great
does your microwave have an oven function?
any of your friends have a halogen oven you can borrow?
or serve a hearty soup & bread as a starter then you will be able to get away with 2 joints that fit one oven so the other is available for the potatoes and yorkshires
and brussels roasted with breadcrumbs & cinnamon
@pelirocco123 such good advice. Thanks so much for taking the time
@stripeypillowcase I've actually got two microwave ovens that I've never used. Not sure how things turn out in them but thinking I might do a practice run of cooking something in it
@BrieAndChilli I've just done the list as you suggested and I think that's going to help me sleep tonight now. I can visualise it actually working :-) THANK YOU
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