Bar-B-Cups

Everyone loves a quick-and-easy recipe, right? How about one that was a 1968 Pillsbury Bake-Off winner that also incorporates our love of all things BBQ?

I can’t remember the first time my mom made Bar-B-Cups for our family, but I know they had a prime-time spot in our dinner rotations. Ground meat, BBQ sauce and biscuits… how could you not?! Bar-B-Cups are so easy to throw together for a weeknight meal that they rightfully earned that spot. Now married to a champion grill master (seriously, come check out the trophies!), these delightful cups have again regularly made their way to our plates – both in their original format using ground meat and a new spin using chopped beef we often have ready in the freezer from briskets smoked in the backyard or at a cookoff.

My traditional recipe differs just a bit from the Bake-Off winner, leaning on ground meat and bottled BBQ sauce for a quick weeknight dinner. I got to thinking though… we love the Breakfast Cups and make them so often, wouldn’t that method be great here, too? Turns out, it IS great! So I share with you here, Bar-B-Cups made in two slightly different styles. The first stays turn to the original “cup of BBQ” while the second takes on a more stacked approach. They are both quick, both delicious and you can use either ground meat or chopped beef in whichever your choose. I can tell you this… both methods will see our dinner plates over and over again!

Which do you prefer?


Bar-B-Cups – Traditional

1 pound ground meat/chopped beef

1 jar BBQ sauce

1 can biscuits

Shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray 8 cups of a muffin tin with nonstick spray. Take a biscuit and stretch it out a bit so that it is larger than the diameter of the muffin cup. Lightly press the biscuit into a muffin cup, all the way up to the edge of the cup, so that you create a little nest for the filling.  Repeat this process with all eight biscuits.

If you are using ground meat, brown the meat and add your favorite BBQ sauce. If you are using chopped beef, warm the beef and add the BBQ sauce. You can use whatever flavor of sauce you prefer – we like the HEB Texas Style with its hit of black pepper. A quick note on adding your BBQ sauce: you don’t want the mixture too runny or it may leave you with some soggy biscuits. Add about half the bottle, check your seasoning and flavor levels, then let it thicken up a bit before moving on to the next step.  On the other hand, if the sauce is too thick to initially mix in, add just a bit of water to stir in, then let it thicken back up a bit.

Fill each biscuit cup with a scoop of BBQ. The biscuits will puff and rise a bit when cooking, but don’t be afraid to fill those cups up to the top!

Top each cup with shredded cheese. You can use any cheese you like here but we tend to stick to sharp cheddar.

Bake for 22-25 minutes. Peek in on the Bar-B-Cups towards the end of your time – you want the edges of the biscuits brown and cooked all the way through to the middle. When done, they should lift easily out of the muffin tin.


Bar-B-Cups – Updated

1 pound ground meat/chopped beef

1 jar BBQ sauce

1 can flaky biscuits

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray *two muffin tins with nonstick spray. Cut *each biscuit into thirds and place one piece in each muffin cup. You definitely want to use flaky biscuits here so that they puff up and brown nicely.

*Quick note: this recipe will make 24 cups. We typically don’t need quite that much, so I will only use half the biscuits for the recipe and just bake off the remaining four.

Follow the same process here as you do for the traditional when preparing your BBQ – brown the ground meat or warm the chopped beef and add your favorite BBQ sauce. Remember to let your sauce thicken up a bit before moving on.

Top each piece of biscuit with the BBQ, then cover with shredded cheese.

Bake for 22-25 minutes. The bottoms should be nice and browned and the cups should pop out of the muffin tin easily.


RECIPES

Traditional

1 pound ground meat/chopped beef

1 jar BBQ sauce

1 can biscuits

Shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350.

Spray 8 cups of a muffin tin with nonstick spray.

If using ground meat, brown & add BBQ sauce to liking.

If using chopped beef, warm & add BBQ sauce to liking.

*You don’t want the mixture too runny – let it thicken up before adding to cups.  If the sauce is too thick to initially mix in, add just a bit of water to stir in, then let it thicken back up a bit.

Stretch out a biscuit a touch and then press into a muffin cup, all the way up to the edge of the cup.  

Repeat with remaining biscuits.

Fill each cup with the BBQ meat.

Top with shredded cheese.

Bake for 22-25 minutes, checking the cups – brown, not soggy in the middle.

Updated

1 pound ground meat/chopped beef

1 jar BBQ sauce

1 can flaky biscuits

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350.

Spray two muffin tins with nonstick spray.

Cut each biscuit into thirds and place one piece in each muffin cup.

If using ground meat, brown & add BBQ sauce to liking.

If using chopped beef, warm & add BBQ sauce to liking.

*You don’t want the mixture too runny – let it thicken up before adding to cups.  If the sauce is too thick to initially mix in, add just a bit of water to stir in, then let it thicken back up a bit.

Take BBQ meat off of heat and stir in the cheese.

Top each biscuit piece with the BBQ mixture.

Bake for 22-25 minutes.

HowdyQue Brisket Academy

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Will and I had the best time last weekend, and we have the pics to prove it 🙂

A couple of good friends of ours asked a while back if we were interested in spending a weekend with them sharing what we know about barbecue – specifically smoking briskets. There’s a certain University in the great state of Texas that offers a barbecue class every year but getting in to the class was proving to be a problem so our friends decided to take matters into their own hands.

For those of y’all that don’t know us real well, we have done several cook-offs around our area and through a mix of trial-and-error, luck and patience our Hardwood Habits team has acquired a good amount of trophies, awards and honors.  We even won Grand Champion at the Mosquito Festival in Clute back in 2013, giving us the honor of travelling to Kansas City to compete in the American Royal Invitational. We enjoy cooking, barbecuing and all that comes with it… so why not talk a little about how we do it and have a little fun along the way?

bbq trophies

We planned with our friends, put some information together, set a date and the HowdyQue Brisket Academy was born! (HowdyQue may have come as a nod to that aforementioned University…) Our true intention was to talk meat, seasoning, wood choices and all that comes with it, testing out different pits and equipment, taking a small detour to talk wine, whisky and scotch pairings and grilling ALL THE THINGS.

Here’s how we went about the weekend:

On Friday, we all met up just outside Sommerville, TX, pits in tow.  It was first off to pick up firewood with some discussion about what type and how much would get us through the weekend.  We then made a grocery run to pick out briskets, ribs and chicken and talk about what to look for when selecting meats for barbecue.  Back at camp, Will prepped some ribeyes for dinner and we talked meat basics.

How lucky were we to have our very own SPIRITual advisor for the weekend?!  After dinner we discussed (and sampled) attributes of wine, whisky, scotch and beer, noting potential pairings with our menu throughout the weekend.

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Saturday morning began the real work.  We trimmed briskets and ribs, seasoned them up and talked about chicken brining. We we working with one choice and three packer briskets, two racks of spare ribs, four racks of baby back ribs, three chickens, two different pits and a Green Egg smoker.  We truly wanted to note any differences between grades of meat, style of rib, wood choice and pit used.

Ribs and chicken were placed on the two pits in the afternoon.  As the meats smoked we relaxed and hatchets were thrown.  Yep, hatchets. It was awesome!

Saturday evening our goal was to have every portion of dinner somehow grilled or smoked.  I mean, let’s really do this barbecue thing!  Will started with a little oyster shucking lesson and they were so delicious a few may have been enjoyed pre-smoke.

Throughout the night we enjoyed grilled cheese (not the sandwich but a cheese called Halloumi that holds it shape and gets that wonderful grilled crunch… try it!), roasted oysters, crane poppers (have you ever had Sandhill Crane?!  You should!), ribs, chicken, smoked artichokes and smoked cabbage.  Clearly we needed more food options as this list just isn’t long enough 😉  It was a feast!

Before crashing for the night, the final lesson of the day: Brisket.  Meat was already seasoned, so a couple briskets were placed in one pit, one in another and a final on in the Green Egg.  Schedules were discussed and various BBQ-ers took shifts throughout the night to check the temperature and add logs to the fire if needed.

Sunday morning it was time to wrap the briskets up.  Smoking a brisket is truly a labor of love – but such a delicious one!

A little later in the day it was time to address burnt ends.  Who doesn’t love burnt ends?! We discussed removing the flat from the point, chunked the meat up and slathered some sauce on the brisket bites.  Back to the pit they went.

The culmination of the HowdyQue Brisket Academy was Sunday lunch.  As friends and family arrived the fruits of our labor began to make their way to the counter.  I promise, we did not lack for food this weekend!  There was so much laughter, conversation, making new friends and promises to cook more together – a promise I most definitely intend to keep.

As I said at the beginning of this post – we had a blast.  I think everyone did!  And what better seal of approval than a kid with a rib bone 😍

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