Memorial Day Cookout

It’s the start of cookout season and it’s time for a big party. 30 ravenous, thirsty adults, and 20 overly picky children. There will be chips, dips, cheeses, meats, brats, burgers, salads, and more. The planned highlight is the dog bar – Chicago, New York, and Chili Dogs. Yumm.

Here is the menu

Snack TableMain CourseSides
Chips and Onion DipThe Dog’s DenFamily Salad
Pimento CheeseBeer BratsPotato Salad
Cheese, Meat, Olive BoardSous Vide BurgersBoston Baked Beans
Cocktail ShrimpsCarnitas TortasCauliflower Gratin
Grilled Corn
Mac n’ Cheese

And a shopping list

Party starts at 4, food to drop at 5. As always, we need a plan to make it all happen!

Party Day -2

We can do our initial grocery shopping on this day. I’ll save getting the ground meat, shrimp, and charcuterie till the morning of the party, but everything else is fair game.

Once you get home from the store, you can do a few prep things: Make the pimento cheese, slice onions for onion dip, dice an onion for the chili, etc

Party Day -1

The big day is tomorrow. Time to do as much as you can!

  • Make chili for chili dogs
  • Make onion dip
  • Make potato salad
  • Make the dressing for the family salad and for the coleslaw
  • Soak the beans
  • Dice onion and butcher pork for carnitas
  • Dice onion for dogs
  • Slice onion and leeks for cauliflower gratin
  • Cut up baguette into croutons for salad

Party Day

Time to get your game on, are you ready? 50 people are descending on your back yard.

7 am

  • Eggs and bacon. You are going to need it

8 am

  • Go off to the grocery store to get those last minute items. Cocktail shrimp, freshly ground beef, sliced meats. yumm

9:30 am

  • Time to get working on the baked beans, get out the dutch oven and cook the beans until tender, this will take about 45-60 minutes.
  • While the beans sare cooking on the stove, make the croutons for the salad. You can also make all of the components (lettuce, olives, onions, etc) and stash in the fridge. You’ll toss everything together at the last minute.

10:30 am

  • Once the beans have finished cooking, get them into the oven at 325.

12 pm

  • Grab a bite to eat for lunch.
  • Start wiliting the cabbage for the coleslaw.

1 pm

  • Make the coleslaw and prep the corn
  • Assemble the gratin and stash in fridge
  • Clean

2 pm

  • Start making the pork, this will take about 45 minutes to get into the instant pot and up to temp. Because we are making 8 lbs of it, brown some of the pork in the instant pot and some outside of it, just to move things along.

3 pm

  • Assemble the burgers, vac pac, and stash in fridge
  • Pork will finish in the sous vide around now, let it naturally release
  • Take dogs out of packages and put into zip top bags in fridge
  • Clean

3:30 pm

  • Put out snacks and booze
  • Start cooking onions in butter for beer brats
  • Bring sous-vide up to temp – 134
  • Get chili onto stove to warm up
  • Evac beans, if they need more time you’ll have to finish them stove stop
  • Set ovens to 425 for cooking gratin and mac n’ cheese (yes i cheat on this one and get trays of it for the kids, sue me.)
  • Start setting up hot dog bar area

4:00 pm

  • Welcome the first to arrive, get them and yourself booze. Enlist some helpers
  • Drop burgers in sous vide
  • Add beer to onions, bring to boil, drop in brats, bring back to boil and kill heat
  • Put gratin and mac n’ cheese into oven

4:30 pm

Shit gets real.

  • Pull pork from sous vide and shred. Leave covered on sheet pan
  • Heat grill
  • Continue setting up service
  • Broil pork
  • Assemble family salad

5:00 pm

  • Get helpers to help setting up service, putting out salads, pulling gratin, and mac n’ cheese
  • Evac burgers to sheet pans, get hot dogs, brats, and corn
  • Cook in batches – some dogs, some burgers, some corn, some brats. Repeat till done

6:00 pm

  • Crack open a cold one and congratulate yourself on a job well done