Meat can be one of the biggest expenses when hosting a dinner party, but that doesn't mean you have to cut it out completely if you're trimming your entertaining budget this year. In fact, cheaper cuts of meat are often juicier, more flavorful, and easier to make ahead, which makes them ideal for entertaining. And as the recipes below prove, they can be just as elegant and impressive as their more expensive counterparts.Meat tends to be cheaper when it includes bones, connective tissue, or other bits that take a little more time to deal with. The reward for this time is extra flavor, both in the meat itself and, in the case of braised meat, the sauce it simmers in. Another plus: many of these recipes taste even better when made a day ahead and reheated before the party, leaving you with some extra time to actually hang out and enjoy the party.
Look for: Bone-in legs and thighs, ground meat.
• Braised French Onion Chicken with Gruyère (pictured)
• Duck Legs in Green Olive Sauce with Cracklings and Pappardelle at Sunset
• Chicken Lettuce Wraps at Rasa Malaysia
Look for: Shoulder or butt, ground meat.
• Pork Ragu with Semolina Gnocchi
• Slow-Cooked Hoisin and Ginger Pork Wraps with Peanut Slaw
Look for: Chuck roast, short ribs, flank steak, shanks, ground meat.
• Peppered Beef Shank in Red Wine
• Port-braised Short Ribs with Ginger and Star Anise
• Slow Cooker Pot Roast at Martha Stewart
What are your go-to dinner party dishes with cheaper cuts of meat?
Related: What Are Your Best Strategies for Throwing a Party on a Budget?
(Image: Faith Durand)