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I need a classy main dish to serve 12!

I'm hosting my grandmother's 85th birthday this month and will be cooking for 12 family members. As it's a milestone, I'm trying to make the meal special.
I don't have a large kitchen, so my normal go to for large groups is Boeuf Bourguignon, however I served that to the family just last winter. Roasting chickens came to mind, but I could probably only fit 2 large or 3 small in the oven which wouldn't be enough.
If it helps, I'll be serving a kale/walnut salad, a tomato/tarragon salad, ricotta with bread, and potentially root vegetable mash to go with whatever main I settle on. Thoughts?

asked by Ben Toronto about 3 years ago
7 answers 3018 views
Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Managing Editor of Food52.

added about 3 years ago

Reading through your proposed menu so far, one thing comes to mind: short ribs. They're great for crowds (i.e. you can fit a whole lot in one braiser), and they usually require an easy, mostly hands-off method.

Here are three recipes to take a look at:


June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 3 years ago

Dan Barber's Short RIbs are Kck-A$$ delicious and easy as pie. And you can do them up a couple of days ahead of time and not be the frazzled hostess when it's time for your guests to arrive. I recommend them heartily.

added about 3 years ago

what about a Leg of Lamb? here is a recipe from food52:

added about 3 years ago

Dan Barber's Short Ribs are looking good! If they are made ahead, is any adjustment needed in the initial cooking or reheating?

Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added about 3 years ago

You could slightly undercook them (meaning they're tender but not super tender) and finish them the next day as you reheat. But you can also cook them fully today, and when you reheat them, just make sure you're reheating them and not cooking them more. I find a 200 degree oven is great for reheating because it gives you a lot of control.

added about 3 years ago

That settles it! Thanks so much for the help and advice:-)

added about 3 years ago

I made Beef Wellington for my mom's 80th birthday and it was a hit. But if you don't want to go to that much work, a beef tenderloin goes a long way and are easy to cook.