Suggestions please for a main meal

It is my turn to host a dinner for 3 couples pot luck dinner, and I am doing the main meal. I cant cook well - survive the basics, don't enjoy cooking. sadly. Can you suggest some main meals that firstly cant fail ha ha and look impressive. I have tried as a text Ranch chicken - boneless chicken breast,, bacon, cheese etc, but wasn't that impressed so some ideas that I can test first would be great. I have a shelf of cookbooks but just don't have the confidence to pull off this pending meal. silly really.

Chef_konga, Jul 28, 2:27 pm

Lamb Shanks are pretty fool-proof. here's a simple recipe that would be good with a kumara mash and butttered broccoli or cabbage.

Lamb Shanks in Guinness (Jennifer McLagan)

to serve 4

4 lamb shanks
salt and pepper
3 tab olive oil or butter
8 med onions, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
4 large sprigs of rosemary
330 ml Guinness
⅓ c brown sugar
1 ½ tsp dry mustard
4 cloves garlic, halved
1 orange

Season shanks and brown in a large casserole in oil over med heat. Transfer to a plate and add onions to pan, stir well and cover, cook 10 min until soft, scraping up residue.

Add carrot, celery and rosemary, cook uncovered 3 min. Add beer and bring to boil, add sugar, mustard and garlic and boil 10 min until syrupy.

Add 4 large strips of orange zest and juice or orange, cook until reduced and the onions are glazed. You should have 3 - 4 c onion mixture.

Heat oven to 150C. Return shanks to pan and combine with onions. Cover tightly and bake 3 hours.

Chef_davidt4, Jul 28, 2:51 pm

Thank you davidt4 much appreciated.

Chef_konga, Jul 28, 5:08 pm

david's recipe sounds lovely & I reckon anything in a slow cooker or done in a casserole would be fine. That way you get the prep done earlier & can relax while it takes care of itself. (more or less)
I just did a quick google & found this for chicken recipes. There might be something there that appeals to you.

Chef_samanya, Jul 28, 6:02 pm

Wow thank you! that will keep me busy looking through there. thanks heaps.

Chef_konga, Jul 28, 6:38 pm

Let's know what you decide on.
If as a 'non' cook, you follow the recipe to a 'T' for the first time, you can't go wrong.
Best of ;luck.
Fill your guests up with a few 'drinkies' & if your meal is not quite spectacular . will they even know?

Chef_samanya, Jul 28, 7:32 pm

Lamb Shanks is what I would think tooo.

The one I have is a little different to davidt4's but instead of celery and beer it has sliced leek and wine, not so much on the other veges but feel Helen's recipe would be more apt and wholesome.


Chef_valentino, Jul 28, 8:15 pm

konga, let us know what you decide & how it goes.

Chef_samanya, Jul 29, 7:10 pm

Samanya, love the drinkies idea - we think alike ha ha! Still work in progress will keep you posted.

Chef_konga, Feb 5, 1:06 pm

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