Food

All Beefed Up: Family-Style Dinner Parties

Butcher Block Gourmet Store

Thursday, October 24, 2019

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Here's a piece of advice for entertaining a group — make a large batch of just a few things and serve it family-style. Reduce the strain of over-catering with a multi-item menu and serve only a few dishes that are expertly executed. Ideally, these dishes should not require:

• Hours of prep

• Standing in front of the stove, stirring, flipping, or rotating

•Intricate assembling techniques (hello, sui mai)

• The use of more than one motorised kitchen tool

Plus, family-style dining allows for guest interaction and promotes social skills and hand-eye coordination in young children. When thinking of dinner parties, to borrow from a famous slogan, “Beef: it's what's for dinner”.

Beef bourguignon is ideal for serving at a dinner party. The classic French beef stew is both rustic and fancy; however, the traditional method is involved and takes hours. But, after discovering a simplified version of Julia Child's classic boeuf bourguignon, there's no going back. The addition of mushrooms, smoky bacon, and red wine elevates the humble beef stew into something magnificent. Serve alongside mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables for a fantastic meal. Don't worry, the recipe has been included.

Not sure who started the rumour, but roast beef is not a complicated dish. It begins with a quality piece of meat that is seasoned with salt, pepper and herbs. That's it. The result is delicious, moist and seems that a lot more effort went into it. Impress your dinner party guests with a show-stopping roast served with roasted potatoes, glazed carrots and a hearty salad.

The Butcher Block team racked its brain trying to decide what to serve for its first appearance at the recent 21st annual Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards. The answer was simple: short ribs. Another dish whose delightful taste belies its simplicity to execute. Braised to flavourful perfection, short ribs are no-fuss and easily married to a variety of sides from cornbread to rice and peas.

Want something even simpler? Well, why not opt for a cowboy steak? Sometimes referred to a tomahawk steak (the bone is left in and, at some angles, the piece of meat can resemble an axe), cowboy steaks are thick cuts of ribeye that, once grilled, apportioned and paired with hearty sides, can easily serve a table full of hungry people.

So, whether you choose to stew, braise, or grill, the next time you have to throw a dinner party, think beef served family-style.


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