A friend recently reached out because she decided to slowly introduce meat back into her diet after being a vegetarian for over 20 years. But, she had never cooked meat – where should she start??
And another reader recently wrote: I am a vegetarian, but all my guests are not. What can I cook for Shabbat dinner to make everyone happy? Help!
Whether you are vegetarian, or you are just not as comfortable cooking meat, I think there are a few very forgiving, foolproof dishes you can make to please a carnivorous crowd.
Cooking things like steak, hamburgers, grilled chicken and roasts require keeping a close eye on the meat, understanding what ideal temperature the meat should be and sometimes even relying on touch to assess the done-ness. So instead of starting with something like steak, I suggest going with straightforward recipes like a roast chicken you throw in the oven for an hour, a braised dish that stays moist and flavorful no matter what, brisket that just cooks low and slow or stew, another forgiving dish.
I suggest choosing 1 or 2 main dishes from below and serving with a chicken soup (also below) or hearty vegan soup like this one, a kugel like one of these, a big seasonal salad and some fruit and dessert for a sweet ending. Shabbat dinner shouldn’t be complicated or stressful — I always believe simple is best and often most delicious. For more on buying and cooking kosher meat read this.