Scaling recipes up and down

If you are catering for large numbers, or cooking for a party, you might want to increase the number of servings that Delia’s recipes provide.

Generally we allow 160-180g of meat per person. In this case, in addition to braising steak the recipe contains pancetta, which is included in this weight. The original recipe is calculated for 4-6 portions, because of the high proportion of meat we believe this would comfortably serve 6 people.

* Always multiply the ingredients in metric or imperial but never a combination of the two.

* Try to scale up in multiples of the original recipe as this keeps things simple: in this case cater for 6,12,18,24 etc.

As you scale up the recipes you must also consider the cooking container used. Try to pick a casserole or pan into which the ingredients fit comfortably, filling about 2/3rds. Any more and you cannot stir or move the food around, any less and the food may cook too quickly or burn.

In the case of a braised dish such as Beef Bourgignon below,  you need to ensure the liquid just covers the ingredients. Depending on the shape and size of your cooking pan the recipe may not specify enough liquid, in this example red wine. At the football club we would top up with more red wine but you could use some stock if your prefer.

Scaling up liquid ingredients is generally more challenging, particularly when catering for large functions as we do at the football club. Adding more liquid at the beginning will cause your sauce to be thinner at the end than required. We often have to adjust the consistency of the sauce at the end of cooking, this we do by reducing the liquid in a wide saucepan or if it has enough flavour but is a bit too liquid we usually with a small amount of cornflour mixed with water.

We work on the basis that a supermarket-sized bunch of herbs when chopped will provide about 3-4 tbsp.

When calculating the quantity of vegetables to cook we allow 80-100g per person (more for brassicas) as a side dish.

With potatoes as a side dish we allow 175-225g per person depending on the style of dish and service we are providing.

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