9. The Roast Dinner

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a) Ingredients List

Supplies regularly bought for previous star parties are as follows, to feed up to 200 people. Registrations allow for 180 dinners and the margin is for guest speakers and families, neighbours, and any other non-registered guests.
People with special dietary requirements should make their own decision about the food served and self-cater if in any doubt about its appropriateness.
The Scouts also provide alternative meals on the night of the roast dinner.

Food Items Qty (or qty x pack size) Usual Supplier
Beef - whole rump 50 kg approximately Glenmore Meats
Carrots 20 kg Vegemaster
Sliced potatoes 20 kg Vegemaster
Sliced onions 10 kg Vegemaster
Peas 10 kg Padstow Frozen Foods
Maggi Rich Meat Sauce 1 x 2kg Padstow Frozen Foods
Bega Tasty Shredded Cheese 2 x 2kg Padstow Frozen Foods
Table salt 1 x 1kg Padstow Frozen Foods
IXL Plum Jam 1 x 2.5kg Padstow Frozen Foods
Nescafe 500g tins as needed Padstow Frozen Foods
Tea bags Bulk box Padstow Frozen Foods
Sugar Bulk box 500 portions Padstow Frozen Foods
Horseradish 2 x 175g jars Woolworths
Thickened cream 6 x 600ml Woolworths
Massel Stock Powder 2 x 168g packs Woolworths
Butter 5 x 250g packs Woolworths
Oil 2 x 1L bottles Woolworths
Garlic 1 bunch Local grocer
Rosemary 1 bunch Don’s garden
Parsley 6 bunches Local grocer


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b) Baking and Serving Supplies

This is the list of all the foil trays, lids, etc. Note that there are usually some left-over supplies already at Wiruna, so it is seldom necessary to purchase a full complement of supplies for 180 dinners.
Please check the pre-SPSP stocktake before purchasing supplies.
Note that we do not supply dessert, so spoons are not required (other than for the tea & coffee station).
Cooking and serving cutlery, pots and pans are kept in one of the cupboards in the Meeting Hall.

Item Qty (or qty x pack size) Usual Supplier
Plastic knives 200 (4 x 50) Padstow Frozen Foods
Plastic forks 200 (4 x 50) Padstow Frozen Foods
Serviettes 200 (2 x 100) Padstow Frozen Foods
Large aluminium trays 6237 10 rectangular Padstow Frozen Foods
485 Aluminium trays 20 rectangular Padstow Frozen Foods
485 Aluminium lids 20 to suit trays Padstow Frozen Foods
Box foam eskies 4 x 530 x 340 Padstow Frozen Foods
Tongs 4 pair Padstow Frozen Foods
Clear plastic cups 2 x 50 Padstow Frozen Foods
Disposable plates 4 x 50 Padstow Frozen Foods
Stainless steel scourers 6 Cleaners Warehouse
Scourer/sponges 6 Cleaners Warehouse
Bottles washing up liquid 4 Woolworths
Foam coffee cups    
Cling wrap    
Caterer's Foil    
Chux (roll)    
Food handling gloves Medium and Large sizes  


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c) Preparing the Meal

Clean the breezeway first. Required cooking time is about 4 hours for the meat and about 1.5 hours for the potatoes. The gas burners for the ovens should have been checked the previous month at the working bee. If any burners don't work, check for mud from mud wasps. Check what trays have been supplied for the meat and verify that these trays will fit into the meat oven before putting the meat into them.

Make the Potato Bake

  1. Do the preparation in the kitchen, starting at least by 11am.
  2. Begin by setting out the foil trays for the potato bake. Prepare 20 trays for 200 meals, providing 10 servings per tray.
  3. The butter comes in blocks and needs to be diced into pats. Try to keep the butter cool or it gets sticky as the work proceeds.
  4. Drop about 10 dollops of butter into the bottom of each foil tray.
  5. Build layers of potatoes (they come sliced) and grated cheese, successively adding sprinkles of pepper, salt, parsley or extra butter to each layer. Make sure that the first layer of potatoes covers the bottom of the tray. The quickest technique is to toss in a handful of potatoes and smoosh them to spread them out before adding the next ingredient.
  6. For the final layer, add more handfuls of potatoes and press down firmly all over the tray.
  7. Finish the top with parsley and cheese.
  8. Prepare the soup in a large pot on the stove, mix 4 litres of water, 2 large packs of chicken stock, 2.5 litres of cream and some chopped parsley.
  9. Bring the soup to the boil and stir so that it is smooth.
  10. Pour about 1 to 1.5 cups of soup into each of the trays of potatoes. This may wash down the last layer of cheese, so sprinkle more cheese on top.
  11. Cover the trays with the lids, squash down firmly and close the edges.
  12. If using metal trays as extras, cover with foil.

Organise things in the Breezeway

Load the potato trays onto chopping boards, no more than three high, to carry them over to the breezeway. They get loaded into the potato ovens, but those ovens don't get turned on till after 3pm. Turn on the meat oven at around 11.45am.

Prepare the Meat

  1. Lay out the trays and pour some oil in the bottom of each. Again, use 10 trays for 200 people.
  2. Cut the whole rumps in half. Large trays will hold three half-rumps, bearing in mind what will fit properly into the meat oven.
  3. Cut slits into the top of the meat pieces and insert slivers of garlic. Be quite generous and throw the rest of the garlic into the trays.
  4. Take a large dollop of plum jam for each piece of meat and massage well on all surfaces.
  5. Sprinkle sprigs of rosemary over the top (but not sticking up because it breaks the foil).
  6. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
  7. Cover with double layers of foil and seal up as well as possible.

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Load Out, Clean Up and Cook

Use racks or chopping boards for carrying the meat trays - THEY ARE HEAVY. By 11.45am, it should be time to clean up the kitchen and the meat oven should be fired up. At midday, load the meat into the oven, using heavy gloves as the door handles may be hot. The temperature should be high at first but can be turned down during cooking. Check the ovens every half-hour.

Make the Gravy

Start at around 12.45pm.

Equipment: You will need one large pot and one large frying pan, a whisk and a gas lighter.


  1. 1 x 2kg Maggi Rich Meat Sauce Mix
  2. Any plum jam left over from the meat
  3. Chopped onions and garlic
  4. 1 bottle of Old Star Party Port (or suitable red wine to enrich the gravy without spoiling the flavour)
  5. Dash of cream


  1. Half-fill one large pot with water and bring to the boil (may take an hour).
  2. Saute the onions and garlic in the frying pan.
  3. Deglaze with the port or red wine.
  4. Flame off any alcohol by bringing the mixture to the boil and using a gas lighter to burn off the vapour. Caution: STAND BACK when you do this. Repeat two or three times until no more flame is produced.
  5. Mix half of the gravy mix into the pot with the boiling water (go by directions on pack to verify quantity).
  6. Whisk until smooth.
  7. Add the base of onion, garlic and port reduction to the gravy mixture.
  8. Bring to the boil.
  9. Turn down to simmer and keep it ticking over for 15 minutes.
  10. Test for consistency (not too thick or too runny).
  11. Remove from heat.
  12. Stir in a dash of cream.
  13. At 4pm, test the heat of the gravy. If it needs to be reheated before serving, put onto a low heat and stir occasionally.

Heat The Vegetables

Half-fill two large pots with water and bring to the boil. It takes about an hour to boil the water, so start by 3.30pm. Also turn on the potato ovens. Tip the peas into one pot and the carrots into the other. Add a bit of salt to the carrots. Bring back to the boil and turn down to simmer if ready before serving begins. 

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d) Preparing the Servery and Tables

  1. Check with the registration desk to see how many meals are being served.
  2. Cover the big table in the breezeway with a clean drop-sheet. This is where the plates, serviettes and cutlery are organised.
  3. Put on latex gloves for all preparation and serving tasks.
  4. Separate the plates with serviettes and leave them in stacks so that they are easy to distribute. It takes about 30 minutes to do about 200 with two people. If there are enough volunteers and time permits, wrap knives and forks in serviettes for easier distribution/carrying.
  5. Lay out two plates on each table, in both the Meeting Hall and the Pavilion, with salt sachets on one plate and pepper sachets on the other. Save the bags that the sachets are supplied in so that they can be put away afterwards.
  6. Reserve a table in the Meeting Hall for the serving volunteers.

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e) Serving the Food - 7 volunteers needed

  1. Arrive at serving area 10 minutes prior to serving time.
  2. One volunteer checks along the line as people get close to the Meeting Hall to make sure that the people in the queue all have “Roast” written on their ID badges.
  3. Put on latex food-serving gloves for handling plates, cutlery and food.
  4. Two or more volunteers hand out plates and cutlery as people come through.
  5. Check with chefs for the serving size at your allocated food station - meat, carrots, peas, gravy (four volunteers).
  6. Stand at the station for the duration of the dinner serving period, offering each diner the food at your station.
  7. Smile and be friendly for the duration (no matter how often your carrots are rejected!).
  8. Assist chefs with any clean-up immediately after serving.
  9. Finally, serve your own meals and dine at your reserved table.

f) Sunday Morning Wash-Up in the Bush Kitchen

Wash up all the pots, pans and utensils from the dinner. Dry all the dishes and return them to their places in the cupboards.

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