Step aside, spaghetti and meatballs. When it comes to feeding a big crowd (and leaving them raving about your incredible cooking skills), there's a new top dog: the steak dinner.
Wait, you say. Steak? But a big meal has gotta be cheap. Yes, we know. Let us explain why we think steak needs to be more than a special-occasion diner.
Pictured above: Upside-Down Steak Dinner Bowl
1. You can feed a big group with one piece of meat.
Let's get straight to business: Steak is more expensive than ground beef, yes, but you don't need a lot of it. A few slices of great steak on delicious side dishes will satisfy and impress.
Add one or two sides — we love the idea of a simple salad or roasted veggies and something starchy, like mashed potatoes or mac and cheese — and it's safe to say that everyone around the table will be able to load up their plates without coming up empty.
Check out this shopping guide: The 5 Budget Best Cuts of Beef, According to a Butcher
2. It's easy to figure out how much food you'll need.
Bonus: The math of steak is even easier. Will that pan of lasagna be enough? Who knows? With a steak dinner, there's a simple rule of thumb to work off: Figure each person will need four to eight ounces of meat, depending on how extensive the side dishes are.
So, one dinner for a crowd, one piece of meat. With steak, you can buy one flank steak, a brisket, or a rib-eye. Cook it up and slice it, and dinner is ready for everyone!
Make sure you have enough: How Much Steak Do You (Really) Need per Person?
3. It's easier than you think to make (but still feels impressive).
If you have a grill, you can cook an incredible steak in a few steps. If you don't, all you really need is a cast iron skillet, a good piece of meat, and some salt and pepper. No matter what you do, you're basically guaranteed to impress.
4. Cleanup is easy.
Whether you're grilling or cooking your steak in the oven, the number of pots and pans involved is minimal — which makes cleanup pretty easy. Of course, if you make complicated sides, this point doesn't hold. (Read: Skip the complicated sides or make them in advance!).
When I was growing up, the steak dinner was usually a symbol of something exciting that deserved celebrating, whether it was nailing a midterm or graduating from high school. I'm sure I'm not alone in this. Get everyone around the table today for a homemade steak dinner and it's automatically going to feel special.
Even more special than meatballs? That's for you to decide, but let us nudge you towards the family-style steak dinner at least once this year. Simple and special is the way to go.
Do you do steak family-style? What are your favorite sides to serve with it?