Cowboy Cups

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When I was growing up, my daddy worked at the local paper mill, leaving the house by 5:15 each morning and returning home around 4:00 in the afternoon – except when he worked overtime or the mill had a “shut down” when they shut down certain machines for maintenance and repairs.  When that happened, it was not uncommon for him to work 16 hours or more.  Even though he became a supervisor at some point along the way, my daddy wasn’t a “Y’all do this” kind of supervisor.  He was a “Here’s what WE’RE going to do” kind of supervisor.  If his crew was working, so was he.  He would come home tired, often dirty, and always hungry.  And coming home didn’t mean he was done for the day!  During the summer, he ate dinner, sat down for a half hour, and then we went out to work in the garden until “dark-thirty.”  There was always something to do.  So it was important that he had a good, hearty meal when he got home.

My mama was a stay-at-home mom and, man!  She was great at it!  The house was always spotless.  She did tons of fun projects with us.  And dinner was on the table when we got home.  We ate as soon as Daddy got home from work, so our dinner time was early.

And the food!

Salmon croquettes, mashed potatoes, meatloaf, fried chicken, beef stew, chicken and dumplings…my mama couldn’t cook when she and Daddy first got married, but she was a fast learner!  We always had wonderful meals.  I come from a hunting family, so there was often deer meat (I learned later that it’s also called venison, but we called it deer meat!) and vegetables that had been grown in our HUGE summer gardens.  Squash, potatoes, tomatoes, okra, corn, peas, butter beans.  Home cooked meals were everyday feasts! Fast food was a special treat – and it didn’t come along very often.  Sometimes we stopped for fried chicken to bring home after church on Sundays, but that also was a rarity.  Mama was an awesome cook.

Every now and then, Mama tried a new recipe that she had gotten from a friend or seen in a magazine.  And this is one of those recipes.  I make it for my family now and their reaction is pretty much the same as ours when I was growing up.  These things are devoured before you can blink your eyes!

As a mom who cooks three meals a day almost every day, I love these because they are super easy and quick to make.  I mean, I love cooking, but there are days when I really don’t feel like standing over the stove for an hour!

When I made them last night, I took a picture and posted it on social media, calling them the uninspired name “BarbeCups.”  My sweet friend Kim posted that she makes them, too, and that her family calls them Cowboy Cups.

How adorable is that?

I immediately informed her that I was totally stealing that name!  And I totally am!

She also said in her post that when she makes them, her boys think she’s a rock star!  My kids do, too!  They love these yummy cups!

Ground beef with sweet and tangy barbecue sauce fills cups formed from biscuits.  Baked until golden and sprinkled with cheese, these are awesome!

And easy – which makes them even better!

Start by browning ground beef (or turkey or chicken or deer).  Once it’s done, you add your favorite barbecue sauce.  I prefer a sweet flavor, so I use a honey barbecue sauce. (Sorry about the steam in this picture.  It was HOT!)

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Using the big canned biscuits – I won’t use a brand name here, but these things are simply GRAND in size! – use your fingers to press out each biscuit to roughly twice its original size.

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Press each biscuit into a muffin cup sprayed with baking spray.  It may take more than one muffin tin since the biscuits come eight to a can.

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Put a couple of tablespoons of the barbecue mixture into each cup.

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Bake until golden and then sprinkle with a little cheese.

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Serve them with a salad or fresh vegetables.  Chances are, nobody will remember the side dishes anyway.  But they won’t forget the Cowboy Cups!  And seriously, don’t make these once if you’re not willing to make them again and again, because your family is going to request them a LOT!

 

Cowboy Cups

  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 17.5 ounce bottle of barbecue sauce
  • 2 cans of large biscuits
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese of your choice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef on high heat until cooked through.  Drain completely.  Add the barbecue sauce and continue to cook on medium high heat, stirring often.  Allow the meat mixture to continue to cook and thicken while you work with the biscuit dough.

Spray your muffin tins with baking spray.  Use your fingers to press out each biscuit so that it’s roughly twice its original size.  Press each biscuit into a muffin cup and fill with 2-3 tablespoons of the barbecue meat mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes – or until exposed biscuit is golden.  Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle each cup with about a half-tablespoon of cheese.

 

Well Duh #1:  The instructions call for roughly double the amount of meat mixture you actually need for this recipe, but that’s what I always do.  I refrigerate or freeze the other half and we’ll have it later for barbecue sandwiches or nachos.  It’s just a huge timesaver!  If you don’t want to do this, just use a pound of ground beef and a half of a bottle of barbecue sauce.

Well Duh #2:  Don’t get lazy about draining the meat after cooking.  I know it’s a pain in the rear – especially if you have a sinkful of dirty dishes that you haven’t gotten to yet – but it really is necessary with beef.  You may be okay with turkey, chicken, or deer because they are lean and don’t contain a lot of fat.  If you finish browning the meat and there is more than a couple of tablespoons of “liquid” in the bottom of the skillet, drain it!

Well Duh #3:  If you have leftovers (I rarely do!), be sure to store them in a sealed container or zippered plastic bag in the refrigerator.  These are great tucked into a lunchbox the next morning!  They taste just fine at room temperature.

Well Duh #4:  If you are a purist, you can make your own homemade barbecue sauce and homemade biscuits.  It’s awesome if you do!  But I’m all about saving some time with this recipe, so I’m just fine with Kraft and Pillsbury!

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