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Old 11-30-2007, 03:20 PM   #1
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How much to buy?

One of the items I will be serving at this year's Christmas party is a lamb and rice stew. The problem is I do not know how much lamb to buy for my 7 quart slow cooker. Any suggestions on how to calculate the amount of meat needed is greatly appreciated. FYI, there will not be any potatos, there will be onions, mushrooms, rice, spices, Guiness beer, soy sauce and chicken broth. I bring this up since potatos take up a good deal of space.

Thanks in advance,

Mark J.

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Old 11-30-2007, 03:37 PM   #2
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Am not a pro at all and there will be someone along better suited to give you amounts than I.

But the amount you need I believe will also depend upon the other things you are serving.

Lots of other foods, less stew needed.

Just a thought.

Good luck.
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Old 12-01-2007, 12:16 AM   #3
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So pretty much apart from a few mushrooms and a bit of onion, the lamb and the rice are the dish. Everything else is seasoning or liquid. If you were to serve a cup of cooked rice per person, I would probably be looking at half to 2/3 of a cup of cooked lamb per person. This is assuming no other side dishes or entrees, just a stew with rice and a dessert, (as Aunt Dot says, it does make a difference) and no very big eaters.

Then the calculation becomes how much does lamb shrink during the cooking process? At a guess, (and it is only a guess as I have never thought about like this until now!) the meat would shrink 1/4 to 1/3 from its raw volume. So maybe just under a cup of raw lamb per person. Throw in some carrots or beans into the dish and you could probably reduce the lamb further. Personally I don't serve two starches together, ie no potato when serving rice, that sort of thing.

That's my best stab
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Old 12-01-2007, 10:20 AM   #4
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Thanks folks but I am asking how much lamb to buy to fill a 7 quart slow cooker, not per person. This dish is one of many to be served at the party. The party is buffet style with slow cookers and hot plates all over the house with different dishes in each. Hence I am trying to figure out how much meat, by the pound, to order to fill the slow cooker. My butcher does not carry lamb stew meat as a stock item so he needs to order it. Otherwise I would simply take a guess and run back to the store if I needed more.

I looked to see if there was a slow cooker section on the forum but didn't see one. Perhaps there is a better forum section to post this in. Any suggestions?

Mark J.
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Old 12-01-2007, 10:57 AM   #5
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Most people calculate cooking by the number of people and not the size of the pot they are cooking in. Even if you have a number of entrees you still need to have an idea of how many people you are serving.

If you know that whatever you cook in that quart slow cooker will be sufficient then I would suggest as follows:

4-5 pounds of lamb meat. Just ensure you don't add too much liquid while cooking. Actually you should add barely a few tbsps to get it started on low because as the meat cooks the juices will be released and you don't want stuff to overflow. I would also layer potatoes, lamb, mushrooms etc so that it all fits in nicely. I also like to season each layer as I go along.
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