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Sunday Lunch for 15

Asked by ScarlettOHara. Answered on 11th April 2011

Full question

Hi there, I need some help! I've been volunteered to cook a sunday lunch for 15 people and I don't know where to start. I do want to do a traditional roast, but can't think of a joint of meat big enough, apart from perhaps a large shoulder of pork? Or 2 legs of lamb? I will have access to a large gas range and double oven, so there should be plenty of space. Am also debating whether to do Nigella's ham in cherry coke as well, to increase the amount of food. In terms of side dishes I was thinking of potato dauphinoise, kale and a big green salad. Any thoughts or tips more than welcome! Thanks.

Our answer

When catering for large numbers we would always suggest that you keep the menu simple. Trying to do too many dishes will only cause stress, instead opt for fewer dishes in abundance. Also as Sunday lunch is an event where it can be difficult to get people to sit down promptly it is a good idea to go for dishes which can stand around for a while without spoiling. Ham in Coca Cola (How to Eat p325) is ideal but for 15 people try to get a boneless gammon ham around 2.5kg (5 1/2 lbs) and give it and extra 15 minutes time in the initial simmering stage. The Effortless Home-Cured Pork from Christmas (p90) is also a nice option though you will need to cook two joints of the pork and will need enough fridge space to soak both of them in their apple brine. Sephardi Roast Lamb (Feast p181) is another good option and as the lamb has the bone removed before stuffing and cooking it is easy to carve. You may need to use 3 legs of lamb rather than two but it is easy to make 1 1/2 times the stuffing if you do cook the extra leg of lamb.

A potato gratin is an ideal option as it can keep warm for a while, or you for the lamb you can cook rice, such as the Rice Pilaff in Feast (p325), or cous cous, such as Rocket and Lemon Cous Cous in Kitchen (p90). A large salad will go well with any of these dishes and try the Green salad with Green beans in How to eat (p306). For dessert go for something that can be prepared in advance and just pulled from the fridge. A trifle would be traditional for a Sunday lunch, or try the Italian version of Tiramisu.

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