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Dec 15, 2009 01:54 AM

ISO Easy but interesting braise/casserole for 15 for New Year's Eve?

I need a saucy dish for New year's eve that can preferably be made ahead - it's for a house party but I'll be juggling a toddler and will be working in a relatively small kitchen so it needs to be a straightforward meal. I'm cooking the main with a friend to help, and some other guests are doing the starters and puds (sob, I'd rather do it all). I am a total control freak so would like to suggest some nice starters and desserts that the other guests could bring.

I had thought about doing Machbous, a baked lamb and rice dish from Bahrain, but my cousin likes saucy food so want to offer her an alternative. I thought about moroccan food but I did this for a family do a couple of years ago and would rather do something new.

My other cousin suggested curry but I thought it would be a bit heavy waking up to the after effects of lots of wine, cocktails AND curry...

I always try to do too much so hope you might have some restrained suggestions.

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  1. Why not wine braised short ribs? This John Besh recipe has been recommended on CH many, many times but that's because its so damned good. It can be made a day in advance and is great served over mashed potatoes or polenta. I'm serving it for xmas dinner.


    The nice thing about this recipe is it has mass appeal without lacking flavor. It pairs easily with wine too, unlike curry.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lynnlato

      thanks, I was looking for something with slightly more unusual/complex flavours. I cooked for this group a couple of years back and did coq au vin so don't really want to do another straightforward french stew. I will bookmark the recipe tho, one to try in the new year (it's our coldest day of winter so far here, I wish someone would cook it for me for dinner...) Cheers!

    2. One year I did venison cooked in port and guiness for a crowd - delicious, and can be made in advance. This is the recipe - don't be put off by the pickled walnuts, they add a delicious piquancy to the sauce and practically disappear.


      1. What about a pork posole?


        You make it in advance for the flavors to meld. I like the idea of curry, too, and think it's perfect for winter.

        3 Replies
        1. re: chowser

          I love the sound of this but I'm in england - I only have a box of instant grits! I've never seen canned hominy anywhere,what does it look like?

          1. re: kookiegoddess

            Hominy looks like large corn kernels, white or yellow(golden).

            Interestingly, yesterday I was gifted an amazing African cookbook, "The Soul of A New Cuisine" by Marcus Samuelsson. He has many recipes that I think would have piqued your curiosity and craving for the exotic. Here is a link to a meal he prepared for a spread in Food & Wine. The Paprika Leg of Lamb sounds so interesting with the blend of sweet paprika, chile powder and cardamom, garlic and fresh rosemary. He serves it with an okra and roasted sweet potato salad, gingered creamed kale & cabbage, and also a tomato cucumber chutney. Recipes for all dishes are included and are on the right.


            I read below and it seems you've found a dish to meet your needs. Perhaps this will interest you later. Enjoy.

            1. re: lynnlato

              Wow thanks so much for posting, I look forward to reading the link! Once I've figured out what I'm going to do with my extremely dull looking chicken pieces....

        2. How about carnitas? You could do a lot of creative things with toppings and sauces, and aside from the final crisping, it can all be made ahead.

          Maybe some saucy black beans and rice on the side.

          1. Thanks for your suggestions, I decided to do a Greek Stifado with Lamb - I will serve with either greek roasted potatoes or orzo pasta, and top with a little feta.

            Now to decide on the side dishes!