Easy dinner for 14 people.

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It is my turn again at the Fire Group meeting to make dinner for the group and am looking for recommendations. I am looking for a one or 2 dish meal that I can make in a normal house kitchen. I do have good cooking skills at least that is what people tell me.

Please help.
 
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I'd love to help another Badger!

Did you want to try something new? Tell us what you are good at and maybe we can come up with variations on what you already do well.
More comfortable with Chicken, Beef, Lamb, Venison?
Is "Fire Group" a spicy-food-lovers group?
 
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We'll need a little more details, Scribble ;)
What sort of food would they like, or what do you like?
You could be looking at pasta, curry, stew, a hearty winter soup......
A oven tray with lasagne, a vegetable and meat pie.....
Coq au vin, boeuf bourgignon, carbonade de flamande... (all stews, but with nice names :) )

Maybe start of with checking if your guest have any dietary requirements/allergies etc
 
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Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, vegetable and rolls. Baked Ziti is real easy and the Ziti could be boiled ahead and thrown together easily with a sausage and ground beef meat sauce, mozzarella cheese, served with salad and garlic bread. Chili, corn bread and salad. Chicken Parmesan, side spaghetti w/ garlic bread or a roll and butter.
 
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Wow some really good ideas off the bat. I am good at most any dish I do but Coq au vin, boeuf bourgignon have all bomed with teh family when I made them. I would say most of these people are a meat and potatoes type of eaters. I dont want to spend a fortune on this either. I know I can knock out an excellent made from scratch pot pie or Shephards/cottage pie just not sure how much to make and if I have a big enough vessels for the group
 

kuan

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I would do a roast. Roasts are great because they hold really well and if you do pork roast there's not bickering about internal temperature. Loin roasts are great, cook it to medium and hold, along with whipped potatoes with a lot of butter, you'll totally be the star.
 
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I would do a roast. Roasts are great because they hold really well and if you do pork roast there's not bickering about internal temperature. Loin roasts are great, cook it to medium and hold, along with whipped potatoes with a lot of butter, you'll totally be the star.

I know this is going to sound dumb but I always start scratching my head when the term hold comes up.
 
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hold = time between when you're done cooking and when you are serving. A big roast can be served 30 min later ( you should rest it anyway). Stuff that doesn't hold well (fried items, chicken skin, etc.) should be served immediately which means you have to plan to cook it last minute.
 
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Hi scribble,

Replace the word "hold" with thought of "put it in a 150°F place or oven on lowest setting to keep warm and safe until you are ready to slice it/serve it"

Maybe Baked Chicken with Chimichurri/Gremolata and oven roasted root veg.

I like the Baked Pasta casserole concept. Anything from sausage, peppers, onions with red sauce, Chicken, veg and mushroom sauce, Chicken/pork/beef mexican lasagna using corn tortillas, Any layered casserole where you like the flavors and ingredients.

I like the roast concept also. Roast beef dinner! Roast Pork dinner!

Do something with a pork butt. Asian flavors over veg fried rice, build your own Carnitas taco/burrito, BBQ'd pulled/chopped pork sand.

Maybe just rework your boeuf bourgignon and substitute beer, for the red wine, Voila! Carbonade Flamande

To stay with a casserole, do a search for "(fill in Nationality)" casserole. I did "greek" and got Moussaka and Pastitsio, both good casseroles! German Casserole showed A Cabbage, potato, sour cream and sausage dish, another had Sauerkraut, apple, potato and pork.

Ham works in a lot of these also.

Good luck and let us know what you decide on!
 

kuan

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Yes, hold. Even covered with foil in a warm area on top of the stove. In fact this is my preferred method, if you feel it gets too cold just blast it in the oven at 425F for 5-10 minutes.
 
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A really good "spag bol" (spaghetti with meat sauce) is hard to beat, if it's made well, and the sauce actually gains from being made a day in advance and reheated. Mince a bunch of garlic and blitz it with a couple-three sticks of butter, then roll it up in plastic and refrigerate (again, a day or more in advance). On the day, buy a couple of loaves of "Italian bread," split and spread generously with the butter, wrap in foil and bake for 30-60 minutes in a medium-hot oven, and you've got good garlic bread.

Pot roast is another cold-weather crowd-pleaser that is cheap, filling, and best made a day in advance and reheated. Just be sure to cook it low and slow, so it doesn't dry out.

You mentioned shepherd's pie, and then of course there's cottage pie (same thing with ground beef), and you also said pot pie. Your concern was vessel size. Well, you don't actually have to serve it all put together. You can bake the pastry in thick sheets, and serve big wedges or rectangles with the stew. That again allows you to make the stew a day in advance, and it will improve.
 
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Pulled pork is great in the oven, just get a whole pork butt, rub it with spices and let t cook in the oven for several hours. Gives you lots of time to make slaw and baked beans.
 
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So I really leaning towards a chicken pot pie or the Shepard pie as I can make this in my sleep. My only dilemma is how much to make. If I make too much I just have left overs for the coming week. I usually make a 9 x 13 pan and it feeds a hearty group of 5 people. So i wondering if some type of hotel pan would be recommended to make it in? The other thing is I never do any side with these and just wondering if I should bring anything. Dessert is being taken care of by the better half.
 
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I would make a big bowl of salad to go with it.
As for amounts, I think you answered your own question ;)
 
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Definitely salad as a side dish, those pies are so earthy and dense and comforting that you really need something fresh and acidic to compliment it.

If doing pot pie I would just do a bunch of small pans to tell you the truth, it’s easier to cook, the crust will be crisper, easier to roll out and assemble, and easier to transport too. A shepherds pie would do well in a huge pan though.
 
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Well I was all set to make Cottage pie for my fire departments Fire group meeting, I was planning on starting the cooking at 3 so it was ready for our 6 pm meeting. Well wouldn't you know it 2:30 we got a fire call in another district that needed help so we took off and didn't get back to our station till 730. So the chief ordered pizza in my absence.
 
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Along the shepards pie line, hard to beat a moussaka, if you think the crew could handle that. Look for a "quick version" recipe (1-2 hours till done), as the traditional route will take you 4+ hours of mostly grueling prep.

Take into account that you are cooking for 14 men, the 3 hours you're allotting may work for a pro, though maybe not enough time for you.
 
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