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When catering, How much food should I order?

When ordering sandwich meats, a good rule of thumb is to order 1 pound of meat for 3 adults, or perhaps 2 adults and 2 small children. Buns and sauce are included.

A slab of ribs will normally serve 1-2 adults, or sometimes 2 adults and 1 small child. When used as a “finger food” item, it is good to remember that ribs are similar to shrimp or peanuts – there’s never enough of either!

A half chicken will serve 1-2 adults.

A pint of slaw, beans, corn relish or potato salad will normally serve 3-4 adults. Usually folks eat more beans or potato salad than slaw or relish. This is a good formula that will extend to quarts and gallons. Gallons are the best value when you are serving 25-30 guests.

When offering a combination of sandwich meat and meat on the bone, take into consideration that many of your guests might eat a portion of each of the meats. In the case of ribs, experience indicates that most people eat ribs until all of the ribs are gone! In this case we’ll cut the slabs into two bone pieces for you, so a slab will server 4 to 6 people. This way everyone can enjoy a sandwich and a couple of rib bones.

In most cases a bottle of sauce will serve 5 to 9 people. Of course, the Hoochie Coochie will go much, much further. The bottle of sauce will keep for months when refrigerated. However, the Hoochie Coochie sauce might keep forever!

When ordering desserts please try and order 24 hours in advance. Usually dessert will serve 18 to 20 adults. Our pies usually serve 8 to 10. As is the case with meats and sides, if you offer more than one dessert, allow for some folks to try small portions of each.

If you have questions or special needs, every member of our staff will be glad to offer you assistance.

Nelson Restaurant Worth Revisiting for Beef Brisket

Jim Grandy

Jim Grandy

J & J’s barbecue mastery continues

By Audrey Fessler and Jeff Vahlbusch, Eau Claire Leader

In August 2007, we figured we’d never need to write another word about J & J Barbecue in Nelson.

Here’s what we wrote then:

J & J’s makes the best baby back ribs we’ve had anywhere.

Owners Jim and Laura Grandy know barbecue and pork. They owned a hog farm in Minnesota in the 1970s. And Jim has been smoking pork ribs and shoulder for 30-some years.

It shows.

Jim’s ribs aren’t pretty, exactly. They come smoke-blackened and speckled with smoke-blackened bits from his light pepper-and-salt rub.

But sliced into individual ribs, they reveal glistening meat with lovely deep-pink smoke rings.

Jim must be a patient man. He smokes his ribs far beyond merely done to a state of tender inner moistness, a remarkable absence of fat, and perfect tug and chew. He beautifully balances smoke, salt, spice and porky flavor. Rib heaven.

J & J’s also serves huge sandwiches of good pulled pork in a honey-smoothed South Carolina-style mustard sauce, $5.

Since 2007, we never drive anywhere near Nelson without stopping at J & J’s for ribs.

As we were paying our bill after a recent lunch – ribs, coleslaw and baked beans to eat in, more ribs and pulled pork to go – Jim quietly mentioned that he’d been “working on beef brisket” and might we like to try some.

In barbecue, brisket is the most difficult meat, the true test of the smoker’s craft. Brisket starts out gnarly-tough and full of fat. It takes between 10 and 20 hours of low-temperature cooking in the presence of hardwood smoke just to become edible – and that’s if you know what you’re doing.

Jim Grandy knows what he’s doing.

No surprise: Jim’s brisket is another masterpiece. Served in thin slices that show off perfect smoke rings, the meat is lean, deliciously smoky and beefy, astonishingly moist and tender.

It’s the best brisket we’ve had anywhere.

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