Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Little BBQ Catering Gig

A few weeks ago, Wende (youngest daughter and only nearby kid) asked if I’d be interested in providing BBQ for a lunch for 30 at her work in Oak Ridge.  After a few discussions with her, I offered to provide all of the food, so long as it was picked up and I didn’t have to deliver it and the deal was sealed.

She advised this was a rib heavy group of eaters, so the meal was 7 slabs of baby back ribs, 8 lbs of pulled pork, 30 pieces of mixed chicken, 1 ½ gallons of mac & cheese, a gallon of ranch beans, and ¾ gallon of slaw (Bev's special recipe).

Since I got so pressed for time, I got just a couple of shots, so I considered not posting this but wanted to provide the bean recipe as they are easy and so good  - reconfirmed by these folks.  I wish I'd gotten a shot of the ribs as they were some of my best - moist, tasty, and pull off the bone tender (not fall off the bone, which is over-cooked).    This is the chicken and part of the pork as it was pulled.

Here’s the bean recipe and I’m not sure where I got it.

RANCH BEANS – Makes about 15 cups
1 lb.                 Hamburger
1/2 lb.            Bacon, diced
1/2 cup.          Onion, diced
1 med             Green pepper
28 oz can       “Bush’s” baked beans
16 oz can       Red beans
16 oz can       “Glory” butter beans, southern style seasoned
16 oz can       Black beans, drained and liquid replaced with water
10 oz can       Rotel
1/2 cup           Catsup
1/8 cup           Brown Sugar (packed)
2 Tbsp.           Vinegar
1 Tbsp.           Mustard
1 tsp.               Salt
1 ½ tsp           Chili powder

Brown hamburger, bacon, pepper and onion together, then drain fat. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Cook in slow cooker on high for 2 1/2 hours.

Unlike many similar dishes that get better with more cooking, this one does not and the flavor degrades.  Since the beans are all canned, all it needs is to be well warmed.  I’m confident the burger could be replaced with smoked meat, such as rib tips, with good results. 

According to Wende, the food got rave reviews and the company owner stuffed himself.  While BBQ can be reheated with good results, it’s still best right off the smoker and I wanted it to be special for this group, so I cooked the pork overnight and got up around 4am to get the other items going - ribs on at 6am.  Note to self after doing this – no more full catering jobs and no more lunch catering. 

As an aside, son Rhett is in Leavenworth,Ks for some Army training and called me from the original Arthur Bryant's to tell me he was eating ribs and thought mine were better.  Whether or not they are, I appreciated the call and it was a feel good, and it just so happened that I had already sent him two slabs via Bev that very morning - she went over to watch the grandkids.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

Two years ago:  What Time Change



  1. Wow! Love the bean recipe...will keep that one on file for our next cookout. Thanks.

  2. That bean recipe sounds incredible. Loving all the flavors and especially the addition of Rotel. Bookmarked.

  3. The bbq looks incredible and the bean recipe sounds just as wonderful.

  4. I'm with you about it being best fresh but the timing of lunch catering is an issue, isn't it. You sure put together a huge order, I think 2 meats would have been plenty, but you never want to run out. Nice cook, Larry.

  5. That looks like one great bean recipe. I don't know that I can find the Southern flavored Butter Beans but I am going to try this one. Thanks.

    I imagine you had one happy group of people!

  6. It's nice that Wende is so confident that you can feed everyone well!

  7. I've printed your bean recipe. They sound wonderful and I have an event coming up at church where they can be used. I can't wait to give them a try. Have a great evening. Blessings...Mary

  8. You know you rock when your children are asking you to prepare food for co-workers/friends, etc. I think it was an honor and you did an amazing job.

    I don't doubt for a second that your bbq is probably better than most....


  9. Wow I am impressed this looks GRAND!

  10. That was sweet of your son. The beans sound amazing - I've never tried making my own ranch beans.

  11. Larry, I've had your ribs many times and I've had Arthur Bryant's ribs several times...Your's are better! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  12. Everything was a big hit. We didn't have quite as many people show up as we expected, and we still ended up with only 1.5 slabs, about 1/8th of the pulled pork, no slaw, about 3 cups of beans, and about 1/4 of the mac and cheese.

    And people were motivated to come work over the weekend because of the leftovers. :) Everyone ranted and raved. It was a huge success. Thanks so much, Big Dude, for all your hard work on that. :)


  13. The bean recipe is a keeper. Will bookmark it for whne I need a big batch. That was so much work you did and I am sure everyone loved your food!


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