Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pork "BBQ" for a crowd

I was tasked with cooking for extravamanza, a men's get-together at Church. We had roasted pork "BBQ", coleslaw, black-eyed pea salad, and cornbread. We had a little over 50 people and lots left over. Below is just a brief summary of the recipes and a recap of how it went.


We procured 5 whole bone-in Boston Butts, about 9-11 pounds each. We rubbed them with a variant of this rub recipe, adding extras like cumin, chili powder, thyme, and whatever else was in the pantry. We roasted them overnight for 9 hours in the convection oven at 200 degrees (that's probably about 225 in a non-convection oven) which was the perfect amount of time. They rested for over 1 1/2 hours before pulling, and were still pretty hot. I made a sauce from cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, brown sugar, pan drippings, cayenne, white wine, and black pepper. I probably made 3+ quarts of sauce which was more than enough. We tossed it with the pork and served some on the side. We had plenty left over, so we could get 4 and maybe even 3 pork butts next time.


We shredded 4 heads of cabbage, 6 red onions, and 6 carrots. They got tossed in a bowl with 3 Tbsp salt, 3 Tbsp pepper, and a mixture of 8 c. mayo, 2 c. cider vinegar, and 1/4 c. sugar. It was covered and rested overnight. It was good, but we could probably have reduced the amount by 1/3 or even 1/2 and still had enough.


We had sandwich rolls, so this probably limited the amount of cornbread people wanted to eat. Here's the recipe:
  • 8 c. all-purpose flour (or a mixture of AP/whole-wheat flour)
  • 4 c. cornmeal
  • 5 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 c. sugar
  • 4 c. melted butter
  • 16 eggs
  • 4 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. corn syrup
Mix the sugar, butter, and eggs. Add the milk, then the corn syrup. Separately mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt and add to the wet ingredients. Mix just until combined and spread onto one full-size (18x26") sheet pan lined with parchment. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes until done.

Black-eyed Pea Salad

We roughly used this recipe, but scaled up using about 6-7 qt. of cooked black-eyed peas. So it was about a x9 recipe, and it was ok but I thought it was a little bland. We didn't let it sit overnight, but I'm not if that makes a huge difference. This would be better in the summer when I could add fresh tomatoes to brighten it up. We also could have probably halved this recipe and still had enough.


  1. You go by a thermometer in the oven, I assume? When temps go below 350, I'm always nervous that some dial won't be anywhere close to what it claims. Especially not in an overnight application.

  2. We knew the ovens worked, but yeah you should probably have an oven thermometer. Most home ovens don't go below 270 consistently. You could just do it on your lowest setting and start it in the morning. We only went overnight because the event was at like 10am.