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Our favourite special occasion recipes

Whether it’s a knockout meal for two on date night, an easy crowd-pleaser, or a show-stopping dinner party main course, we’ve rounded up our most impressive recipes for all types of special occasions. Now all you need to think about is dessert...

Rubbed Beef Fillet with Two Salsas

A recipe to spice up the traditional steaks on the barbecue. Both salsas complement the beef beautifully, yet offer very different combinations of flavour. We suggest keeping a jar of these on hand over the barbecue season - our guess is you'll be enjoying them on a range of meals!

Rare Beef and Roast Potato Stack with Horseradish Walnut Aioli

Rare beef, hot crispy potatoes, and nutty aioli that packs a punch to make a great little canape to get your party started too. Top bite-sized roast potato slices with a piece of beef, some slow-roasted tomato and the horseradish aioli.

Red Wine & Mint Lamb Shanks

These lamb shanks are slowly cooked in a delicious sauce until they fall apart. Red wine paired with whole grain mustard, fresh mint and honey combine to create a sauce with a wonderful depth of flavour. We also added baby carrots to the slow cooker which caramelised beautifully in the sauce. Serve shanks on a kumara and potato mash and enjoy.

Slow Cooked Pulled Lamb

The shoulder has an incredible flavour, and cooking it on a low heat for a long time gives you beautifully tender meat that falls off the bone. Smothered in a rich gravy from the cooking juices, you’ll be in heaven with this meal. And the best part is, it's dead simple to make.

Tomahawk Steaks with Hot Smashed Potatoes

Surprise your guests with something a little more special than what you would normally barbecue. This is the ultimate recipe for when you want to impress without spending too long standing over the grill. Serve alongside smashed potatoes with aromatic rosemary and garlic to complement the beef perfectly.

Slow Roast Beef with Fines Herbes Pesto

The fuss-free nature of this roast beef dish makes it a favourite for us. While it's finishing cooking, simply reheat the cream-loaded potato gratin, then all that's required is a salad or a bowl of steaming hot, buttered seasonal greens to accompany.

Barbecued Eye Fillet with Carrots, Eggplant & Israeli Couscous Salad

Enjoy the company of friends and family whilst you barbecue this stunning eye fillet dish. This recipe pairs the eye fillet with a colourful vegetable and couscous salad, drizzled with a punchy herb dressing.

Lamb Shoulder with Zesty Orzo Salad

This recipe is perfect for a special occasion. It uses a semi-boned lamb shoulder which you can ask your butcher for, or you can use a standard lamb shoulder which will give the same delicious result.

Lambs Fry Pâté

This pate is creamy deliciousness. It makes a huge batch, perfect for freezing and pulling out to complement a platter or to serve on toast alongside soup.

Balsamic & Tomato Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks

Make this beautiful dish to impress for a date night, or dinner party. The simple flavours marry together to give a rich and flavoursome sauce that will leave everyone wanting more.

Steaks with Romesco Sauce

Use up the last of the late summer/early autumn tomatoes and peppers to make a batch of Romesco sauce for a tasty accompaniment to serve atop steaks. A popular Spanish sauce, there are many variations and this is ours.

Lamb Meatballs with Hummus

Spiced New Zealand Lamb Meatballs and Hummus are a perfect match. The soft and silky hummus combines beautifully with the flavoursome and juicy lamb.

Barbecued Scotch with Summer Herbs and Labneh

How does a perfectly barbecued scotch with fresh summer herbs topped with a zesty homemade labneh sound? Pretty great, right? This lighter dish is perfect for a hot summer's day, or complete the meal with new potatoes or toasted sourdough and a crunchy green salad.

Lamb Cutlets with Quinoa Crust

A slightly different way to use this ancient grain. You can use this recipe with a variety of different lamb cuts and it will always taste great.

Teriyaki Beef Sushi Cake

Looking to really impress your guests? You got it – we have made this sushi cake using our slow-cooked, melt in your mouth teriyaki beef and combined it with creamy avocado mayo. Topped with your choice of toppings and this cake is sure to wow. And it’s a lot easier to make than you may think!

Steak and Vegetable Platter with Homemade Vegetable Sauce

This recipe is perfect for when you’ve got to put something and we love serving it on a platter which is fun for kids and adults alike, to pick from. Our tip - make up the vegetable sauce the day before and reheat before use for a fast meal after a busy day.

Mini Meat Loaves

Meat loaves are a great way to pack in extra nutrients and taste great when served hot or cold. For dinner, serve alongside a leafy green salad and some potatoes or alternatively, let them cool and slice for a sandwich filling.

Thai Beef Salad

On the table in 30 minutes, this Thai Beef Salad is a great option for a party platter. It is full of fresh, tangy & spicy flavours. Bulk it up with egg or rice noodles for a more filling meal. We love the extra crunch added by the toasted rice mixture, which is surprisingly easy to make.

Char-Grilled Lamb Rump with Tomato & Feta Salad

The combination of beautiful spices and creamy feta make this dish simply delicious.

Ragù on Pappardelle

Revive your taste buds with our easy to prepare ragout. With all the ingredients combined in a casserole dish, let the oven take care of the rest. Enjoy meltingly tender beef on-top of cooked pappardelle and sprinkled with thyme leaves.

Mediterranean Beef with Gremolata

This Mediterranean-inspired dish is sweet sophistication, with the meltingly tender beef paired beautifully with the sweet flavours of the dry fruit and cinnamon. Serve with Israeli couscous and let the compliments roll in.

Lamb Cutlets with Potato Rosti & Fresh Herb Pistou

The fresh herb pistou makes this lamb dish that bit more special. Simply delicious.

Herb & Caper Lamb Cutlets on Pea, Spinach & Lemon Crush

There’s something a little bit special about serving lamb rack – it’s such a great looking cut, so tender and loaded with flavour. This meal is perfect for entertaining; it’s simple to make, visually impressive and absolutely delicious. And because it’s such a small cut, it cooks quickly so you won’t be in the kitchen all afternoon preparing. Brillant.

Herb Stuffed Butterflied Leg of Lamb

The lamb is meltingly tender and the herb stuffing adds bursts of flavour not to mention beautiful colour to the dish. But the best part? It's quick, which means more time to spend with that special someone.

Sirloin on Seed Crackers with Horseradish Crème Fraiche

We love this combination of barbecued sirloin and horseradish Crème Fraiche. Serve on crisp seed crackers or store-bought blinis.

Slow Cooked Beef Ragù

Slow-cooked to perfection with beef that is falling apart, this ragu is perfect for a special occasion, date night, dinner party or everyday family meal!

Paprika Spiced Cutlets

Barbecue these lamb cutlets and top with a generous dollop of homemade smoked paprika mayonnaise, for the perfect party starter.

Lemon, Honey & Rosemary Lamb Ribs

Set aside the knives and forks, these marinated ribs are finger-licking good.

Char-Grilled Lamb Rump on a Tabbouli-Filled Tuile Topped with Cashew Nut and Mint Pesto

Lamb rump has a great balance of texture and flavour. We’ve combined chargrilled rump with tabouli-filled tuiles, a crunchy thin French wafer biscuit, to create a mouth-watering starter.

Wholemeal Sourdough Bruschetta

This cafe-style twist on bruschetta makes for a delicious starter. We’ve simply topped ours with cherry tomatoes, avocado, and alfalfa sprouts. This fresh and flavourful meal goes from prep to plate in under 25 minutes.

Roast Lamb with Potatoes & Leeks

Lamb legs are perfect when cooking for the family and this recipe is no exception. The lamb cooks on a bed of potatoes and leeks which allows the flavours to infuse together beautifully. We love using leftover lamb in sandwiches or salads the next day.

Standing Beef Rib Roast With Smoked Cheddar & Chive Mash

This is a special cut of beef to roast – it’s essentially a piece of scotch fillet with the bone left in, and the texture and flavour is simply unbeatable. If you can’t find it in-store, ask your butcher. Because it’s so visually impressive with those great bones, it’s a knockout dish to serve when you’re entertaining – and easy to prepare as well.

Slow Cooked Dukkah Bolar

Coating the bolar roast in dukkah and slow cooking gives the meat a tender and juicy result. Serve with oven-roasted root vegetables, topped with the crème fraîche and hazelnuts.

Classic Kiwi 'Lamb & Three Veg'

When cooked quickly lamb loin chops develop a delicious caramelised crust and have a pink juicy centre. Paired with buttery parsnips and carrots, chunky kumara and a side of peas, you have yourself a kiwi classic, dinnertime favourite.

Oven Roasted Beef Sirloin

This is what you’ve been waiting for; roast beef with all the trimmings. The beef is roasted in the oven and served with the Yorkshire puddings, gravy, and seasonal vegetables of your choice.

Mini Lamb Roast with Roasted Vegetables

Kiwi families love lamb roasts and this recipe is quick and easy to prepare yet absolutely delicious. To add extra colour and flavour to your lamb roast, quickly brown on both sides in a hot frying pan before roasting. We guarantee this will be a winner with the whole family!

Marinated Beef Brisket

Whilst a longer cooking time is required for beef brisket, the wait is well worth it for boldly flavoured, tender beef. When paired with warmed tortillas and a crunchy winter slaw, expect a taste sensation that will have you coming back for more.

Posted by Shawn Moodie

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