Found 8th Feb 2010
Long story but I have just found out that I have to cook a meal for about 20 people for Friday, then transport it to the big house we are all staying in next weekend.

Something like Lasagne would be ideal because it can all be in one large roasting tin but someone else did that last year. The group are foodie types so pressure is on!!

Considering something like shepherds or cottage pie but have no idea about amounts / proportions to use when cooking large volumes. Would welcome any advice please
Community Updates
double the ingredients or make 2 batch's of shepards/cottage pie

Simplicity is best for big party of people, couple of recipes below for your op section,

Rice dishes?
steak wraps ?
sea food?

are you doing starters also or just main?

LASAGNE ( Serves 8-10 )

1 pound of sweet Italian sausage
1 pound of ground beef
1/2 cup of chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
2 (8 ounce) cans of tomato sauce
2 (6 ounce) cans of tomato paste
1/2 Cup of Water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 teaspoons fresh Basil leaves chopped
4 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
23 ounces of ricotta cheese.
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 egg
1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 lasagna noodles

COTTAGE PIE ( serves 6 )

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions,
chopped 2 cloves garlic,
crushed 500g lean mince
2 medium carrots,
sliced or diced 125g frozen garden peas
4 tablespoons tomato puree
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
250ml beef stock salt and pepper to taste

For the topping:
4 large potatoes,
peeled and diced small 50g butter
125g grated Cheddar cheese
What about chicken & Leek Lasagne?
Massive pot of chilli with rice and breads etc
Make Penne with Sugo (ie Italian tomato sauce) - suitable for veggies.

For 20
Warm 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan.
Add a pinch of chilli flakes
Finely grate a carrot and a stick of celery
Finely dice an onion
Sweat carrot celery and onion in olive oil until soft
Add 5 cloves chopped garlic
Now add
3 tins Canned chopped tomatoes (good quality)
3 Jars Passata (Valfrutta)
Stir all together
Add 2 tsp dried basil and dried oregano
Stir again
let simmer for a few minutes then add salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Cover and simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

Allow to cool and store in a suitable container until needed.
Grate 200 g of Parmesan and store in an airtight container until needed

Go to big house

Use a very large stockpot or two large saucepans to bring a large volume of water to the boil.
Add salt
Add Penne - about 2 kilos
Stir and bring back to boil then simmer on a rolling boil for 1 minute less than suggested cooking time.
Meanwhile heat sugo in a large pot
When pasta is ready take a ladleful of the pasta water and stir it through the sugo
Now drain the penne and add it to the sugo off the heat
stir through to mix thoroughly
Serve in warmed bowls with grated Parmesan and freshly torn basil on top.

If you need something more upmarket, say so in next post.
something different

A big pot of Scouse…pe/
Or you could make 3 of these…tml

Take it up to stage 6 then stop.
Continue with stage 7 when you get to the house.

Personally, I'd go with the Penne and Sugo or Scouse.
As ever, great stuff thanks guys. Only doing one large main course.

The sugo looks great and I will do that one for us, we don't eat a lot of meat. But for this, I think I will need to include meat because everyone else has gone to the same expense each year.

Cannot do lasagne because that was expertly done last year. Like the sound of the chicken and leek lasagne though, you got the recipe?

Scouse looks good and there are 2 from Liverpool going, Ha! Will consider that one.

Cottage / shepherds pie seems the easiest / quickest, especially since I have discovered frozen mashed potato....believe me, you really cannot tell the difference
moussaka, garlic bread and salad

oh and can i come, i loves moussaka
spaghetti bolognaise is always a winner with lots of people , served with hot crusty bread/garlic bread and parmesan cheese to garnish
Ps , can use traditional spaghetti or for a change tagliettelle or pasta quills,shells etc
Good luck whatever you decide , x
just cook a curry, do a small sample and if it tastes good make it big, its easy to make for a big group. Bread, rice or nan bread to serve...happy days

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, browned on both sides in olive oil, and thinly sliced (about 1/2 wide by 3-4 inches long) You will use this same pan to sauté the leeks and mushrooms in after the chicken has been taken out.

About 1/4 cup olive oil, total

2 leeks, sliced, rinsed

1 lb. button mushrooms

2 T garlic, minced

1 T each of dried thyme, basil, oregano and onion powder

1 t cayenne pepper

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup chicken broth

Juice of 1/2 lemon, no seeds

1 lb thinly sliced mozzarella

1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan (preferably, Parmigiano-Reggiano)

1 lb oven ready lasagna sheets

Béchamel Sauce:

Sauté in 1/4 cup unsalted butter:

1 cup white or yellow onions

A pinch of cayenne and nutmeg

Stir in:

3 cups whole milk

10 oz. Boursin cheese or a flavorful cheese mixture from your local groceries gourmet cheese section (a white cheese mixed with herbs, for example)

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk in:

8 oz. frozen spinach

1 egg, lightly beaten


Sauté leeks over medium heat in olive oil in the same pan you sautéed the chicken breasts in until they are softened.

Add the mushrooms and toss with the leeks. Then add the garlic and seasonings and cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 4-5 minutes.

Stir in the wine, chicken broth, and lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer about 8-10 minutes over medium heat until liquid is reduced by half. Take off heat and add the chicken.

Assemble in oiled 9x13 baking dish as follows:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Layer of lasagna noodles. Layer of sauce, layer of mozzarella cheese and layer of béchamel sauce. Follow with the same layering technique for two more layers. (You do not need to cover completely with béchamel or cheese each time, as these will spread during baking.) Over the top layer, spread the parmesan cheese.

Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes, or until top cheese is crusted well.
Beef bourguignon is a good one; there is a really good Anthony Worral Thompson recipe on BBC food. It's really simple, although for 20 you would need a couple of big pans' worth. Also you can use cheap wine, not the expensive type he suggests. You can make it in advance though, and it's absolutely delicious. You can serve with rice or potatoes of some sort, and green salad. It looks like it's taken a lot of effort but it's actually not much work.
Also stweing beef is not too expensive, especially compared to something like chicken breasts.

Paella is another good one; it looks great too if you make a massive pan's worth and bring it out so everyone can help themselves on the table. Then you can have some nice bread, aioli, and salad as well.

You could make a couple of big quiches; maybe with goat;s cheese, bacon, whatever you like. These can be super-easy if you use ready made pastry as well. You could maybe make 4/5 quiches for 20 people then everyone can have 1/4 each. They are dead simple and quick.

Also, 20 is A LOT of people. I regularly cook for ten and it's really easy to underestimate the amount you need. Better to have too much than not enough. It takes time as well so yes you are definitely right to aim for something which is straightforward.
Chinese banquet (delivered) :thumbsup:
Captain Hook;7782282

something differentA big pot of … something differentA big pot of Scouse

Scouse with steak, lambs breast and Worcester sauce? I wish!!

The scouse that I grew up on was made with minced beef. Guess I could try the linked recipe now that I can actually afford the ingredients.
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