Cooking for a large crowd of ravenous people can be a little intimidating. However, there are many large quantity recipes that are designed for scaling up in order to meet the needs of big groups. It all comes down to the correct measurements and most importantly, the right equipment. The trick is knowing how to take a traditional recipe and make it scale well. This often takes much measuring and testing to work out the perfect ratio.
The trick to being a catering hit with a mass of people, is to make sure whatever you serve is absolutely delicious. Sometimes when people scale recipes up, they start to lack taste and depth of flavour. You need to make sure that you keep the correct spicing ratio to preserve that taste.
One of the most simple and traditional recipes to make in a big batch is Spaghetti Bolognaise and here is a scrumptious recipe that can serve up to 200 people.
- 25kg quality steak mince
- 4 kg of onions finely chopped
- 2 heads of garlic that are peeled and chopped
- A few twigs of rosemary and thyme
- An abundance of fresh basil
- 2 bottles of red wine
- 20 cans of chopped tomatoes
- 20 sachets of tomato paste
- 4 tins of tomato puree
- Approximately 1 cup of sugar
- 125ml Worchester sauce
- 250ml balsamic vinegar
- 250ml olive oil
- Approximately 4 handfuls of salt
- Approximately 2 handfuls of pepper
- Approximately 3 litres of beef stock
- 40 x spaghetti packs
Firstly, heat the oil in a massive pot so that you can fry the onion and garlic until soft and fragrant. Then you’ll need to add the basil and let it just wilt. Once you’ve got this going, add the minced steak incrementally, stirring with a large fork to work out all of the clusters. It’s very difficult to brown this volume of meat but just try your best during this initial stage. Add all of the other ingredients until it’s’ a smooth mince paste and then cook on a low heat for approximately 40-60 minutes. Keep tasting and conservatively adding whatever spicing is needed, from pepper to salt or even a little more sugar.
In the meantime, boil up the spaghetti on the side, adding salt as seasoning. Once the pasta is ready you can begin to dish up onto plates. Try to serve with a sprinkling of parsley and fresh parmesan for best effect.
Then present your delicious meal to the masses and take a load off your feet, because you will be exhausted handling this volume of food! The best way to tackle large-scale catering is to have a fantastic group of people to help you pull it off, from cooking to serving and cleaning up after.