Thursday, April 23, 2009

Self Catering a Southern BBQ

I went out for barbecue at Blue Smoke last night with friends, and was reminded how much I love making pulled pork for parties because it's so easy to just throw a pork shoulder in a crock pot with some bbq sauce and onions for a day and let it do its thing. Same thing goes for chili. Which led me to the idea of how easy it would be to self-cater a big barbecue with a menu like this:

A crock pot or two of pulled pork
A crock pot or two of vegetarian chili
A crock pot or two of grilled shredded chicken breast
(to accommodate all the health nuts I know who think pork is too fatty - i'd grill chicken, shred it, and warm it with some honey mustard sauce in the crock pot)
Fluffy whole wheat rolls (ok i can make bread but it's so time consuming and finicky that i would wimp out here and just buy it from a bakery)
An array of homemade mustards, ketchups, and barbecue sauce
(I do want to learn how to make my own condiments)
An array of homemade cucumber, carrot, and pepper pickles
Trays of lite mac 'n veg 'n cheese
(again, my family would think typical mac n cheese is too unhealthy, so I'd go light on the cheese and incorporate finely chopped broccoli)
Corn on the cob
Some sort of light tomato salad

The great thing is that you can make most of this a day or two or week ahead, and the flavors will only improve with time. I could totally pull this menu off with the help of a few friends and borrowed crockpots, and I don't think it would be too expensive either. Perfect for a summer get-together, graduation party, or casual wedding.


  1. What an awesome menu! (and I'm veg, so I wouldn't even be eating the bbq.) I love that it is friendly to veg and non-veg alike.

  2. yeah - since i am a sometimes vegetarian depending on the sustainability of the meat being served - i know how important it is to have options for everyone

  3. Sounds fantastic! Low stress and delicious.

  4. Mmm, can you post the pulled recipe, or is it really that simple? It's something I've never made but J loves it so would be fun to try and cook it!

  5. I love it! We're doing a hybrid of self-catering and professional catering for our own down home backyard southern style BBQ wedding and I'm so psyched about it.

    Having a hard time dediding between baked beans and mac & cheese right now though.

  6. surprisewedding - yeah i just made some delish baked beans and don't know how i would choose between that and mac n cheese either!