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Old 11-14-2010, 09:44 PM   #1
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Christmas dinner (english theme) for 15?

My annual Christmas dinner has swelled to 15-17 people this year for a sit-down home cooked dinner. I'm an English ex-pat in Chicago. I have it early (Dec 4th) as many of my friends have other obligations/travel during the festive period.

Im a little troubled as I cant think of the best protein for the occasion. I don't want turkey as we are so close to Thanksgiving....

My initial thought was Beef Wellington but Im worried about the different preferences (rare/well done etc).

So does anyone have a suggestion for feeding 15?

Many thanks,
Tom.

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Old 11-14-2010, 09:57 PM   #2
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edit: I have John Torodes 'Beef' book. I assume the first 6 ribs is 'prime rib' (I dont know the american jargon). According to his book this feeds 8-ish. Is two of these being excessive?
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:10 PM   #3
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Prime rib is a catch-all term to describe a standing rib roast. It would legitimately a prime rib if the beef was prime grade (as opposed to choice or select). The first six ribs alone aren't prime. However, one end of the rib is a better cut than the other based on the amount of fat and lean.

If you do a standing rib roast, the end slices should be more cooked than the center cuts. When my SIL comes for a rib roast, we microwave his slice so it's well done.

I would say six ribs would feed eight people very generously. Two of these would easily feed your crowd.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:43 PM   #4
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Prime rib is a catch-all term to describe a standing rib roast. It would legitimately a prime rib if the beef was prime grade (as opposed to choice or select). The first six ribs alone aren't prime. However, one end of the rib is a better cut than the other based on the amount of fat and lean.

If you do a standing rib roast, the end slices should be more cooked than the center cuts. When my SIL comes for a rib roast, we microwave his slice so it's well done.

I would say six ribs would feed eight people very generously. Two of these would easily feed your crowd.
Ok, that said, is it possible top do, say, a nine rib roast? Or are we looking at too big a gradient of meat standard across the ribs? It would be much nicer to have one piece of meat in the middle of the table instead of two...

And Im not tied to beef. Any large cut of meat to feed us all would be awesome. Im just short on ideas.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:43 PM   #5
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Maybe leg of Lamb
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:45 PM   #6
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Maybe leg of Lamb
Would that be big enough? Or would one that big just be mutton?
edit: or is that a good thing? Ive heard there's a mutton revival...
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:19 PM   #7
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I'm thinking you might actually need two depending how many are big eaters. Another thought just occurred to me. You might want to serve a braised dish. It would eliminate the need to consider different levels of doneness and since braised dishes are generally expected to fall apart you could serve as many as needed. Short ribs come to mind.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:26 PM   #8
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Ok, that said, is it possible top do, say, a nine rib roast? Or are we looking at too big a gradient of meat standard across the ribs? It would be much nicer to have one piece of meat in the middle of the table instead of two...

And Im not tied to beef. Any large cut of meat to feed us all would be awesome. Im just short on ideas.
As pretty as one big roast would be, two smaller roasts would cook more evenly and fit your oven better.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:31 PM   #9
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I'm thinking you might actually need two depending how many are big eaters. Another thought just occurred to me. You might want to serve a braised dish. It would eliminate the need to consider different levels of doneness and since braised dishes are generally expected to fall apart you could serve as many as needed. Short ribs come to mind.
Its a nice idea but strays little too far from the traditional english christmas dinner thing.
Im thinking pork might be a good move as when its done its done.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:35 PM   #10
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A crown roast of pork would be a very impressive presentation with stuffing in the middle and even paper booties on the rib ends if you are so inclined.
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