Daunted by hosting dinner parties. MeatMATTERS.com launches the MeatSMART guide: from Disaster to Delicious

Although occasionally we all like to treat ourselves to dinner in a lovely restaurant, nearly half of us like to cook for friends in the comfort of our own homes. Despite a love of entertaining at home, a number of us are also often worried and intimidated by the thought of being the perfect host. According to a survey commissioned by red meat experts MeatMATTERS.com, nearly a third of us panic about cooking something that everyone will like. Fear not, MeatMATTERS.com has come to your rescue and created The MeatSMART Guide: from Disaster to Delicious to help you and your guests have a wonderful time.

Cost is a consideration for 57% of us who worry about the cost of a dinner party. However less than 10% of us bother doing research into cheap cuts of meat and recipes to use at dinner parties which would help save the pennies. First jobbers, 24 to 34 year olds, are particularly concerned with the cost of hosting a dinner party, with 72% stating this worried them. Not surprisingly it is this age group that takes more care searching for cheaper ingredients, such as cuts of meat.

"It is so simply to cook a delicious impressive meal without breaking the bank," says TV personality Linda Barker. "MeatMATTERS.com has some great recipes and easy tips to make you the hostess with the mostest!"

Unsurprisingly, the most popular red meat dishes served at a dinner party are beef lasagna and beef steaks followed closely by beef stroganoff.

It is reassuring, however, that only one in ten of us have bought ready meals and takeaways to pass them off as our own home cooked dishes at a dinner party. MeatMATTERS.com wants to help the nation eliminate the stress of cooking and be a confident host.

"The MeatMATTERS.com MeatSMART recipe book is a perfect example of a great tool that can be used to plan your dinner party. It is full of delicious and inspiring slow cook recipes that take care of themselves, leaving you free to entertain your guests" explains Linda Barker. "Whats more the recipes use seasonal ingredients and the most economical cuts of meat."

However, it is not only hosting that seems to be a problem. When invited to dinner, the biggest bugbear for 20% of us is being stuck next to someone we do not like, followed closely by not liking the food.

The team at MeatMATTERS.com has taken all this on board and has created a short video guide, with Linda Barker, to help you host the perfect dinner party. From setting the table and the scene to planning, cooking and serving your dishes, so you can be sure that delicious and not disaster will be on the lips of all your guests.

MeatMATTERS.com golden rules are:

  • Plan well in advance to make sure that you can obtain the necessary ingredients, choose recipes that you are confident to cook

  • Talk to your butcher about the best value cuts of meat available and donā??t be afraid to ask for cooking tips. He will also help you calculate the amount of meat that you need to serve

  • Choose vegetables that are in season and can be cooked in the oven alongside the meat, saving energy and leaving you free to be with your guests

  • If you choose a roast remember that they benefit from being left to stand for 15 minutes before carving

  • Choosing a slow cook casserole gives you more flexibility if your guests are a little late arriving

  • Set snacks in bowls ready for when guests arrive

  • Serve a simple dessert

  • Focus on your guests

The poor economic climate has already affected food purchasing and eating habits. Thrift is high on the food agenda with shoppers hunting around for the best value, growing vegetables at home, taking greater care over food wastage, returning to traditional recipes and entertaining at home. The MeatMATTERS.com MeatSMART campaign is here to help shoppers make the most of red meat and learn tips and tricks to cook wholesome, tasty meals on a tight budget.