Milk Can Supper, Cowboy Dinner

May 11, 2016 at 3:29 pm (American, Recipes) (, )

After 3 months in the 49th state, it’s high time that the kitchen was put to use testing out some bona fide American recipes – you know the saying… “When in Rome…”.  And what better way to start than with an ATK Cook’s Country recipe that brings an open-range cowboy dinner to your kitchen table?  The milk can supper is a traditional homestead meal for the masses.  The ultimate one-pot wonder, it was as easy as throwing vegetables and sausages with beer into a milk can over fire.  This scaled down version uses a 16 quart / 15 L crockpot,  and would feed 6 quite comfortably.  Inspired by Cooks Country, I made some alterations for what I had in the fridge/pantry.  The vegetables could also be swapped out for any others that would stand up to steaming over high heat (I’m thinking rutabaga/swedes, parsnips and the like). Verdict – a tasty, versatile and super-easy weeknight supper, with little washing up to do plus leftovers for lunch.

Milk Can Supper 2

(Adapted from Cook’s Country)

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 8 sausages (the CC recipe uses bratwurst for its fat content, but any that you like would work – we’ll have to throw in some reindeer ones next time)
  • 1tbs EVOO
  • 10-12 small red potatoes, washed clean
  • 1 green cabbage, cut into 8 segments
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 8 segments
  • 1 large brown onion, cut into 8 segments
  • 6 carrots, topped and tailed, cut into 2-3in lengths
  • 2 corn cobs, chopped into 2in disks
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1tbs dried thyme (couple of sprigs if you have them fresh)
  • 1tbs dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bottle beer (good-old Alaskan Silver Gulch pilsner worked a charm)

Milk Can Supper 1

Milk Can Supper 3


  1. Heat 1tbs oil in a 16 quart / 15L crockpot.  Add the sausages, cook until browned all over and a good amount of fond (that flavor-packed, sticky, brown stuff) has built up on the bottom of the pot.  Remove the sausages, cut into thirds and set aside.
  2. Arrange the potatoes, whole, skin and all, on the bottom of the pan (they will protect the rest of the vegetables from the direct heat).  Then layer in the cabbage, onion, corn and carrots, scatter over the garlic, salt and herbs and add the good stuff (beer).  When the pot starts the steam, add the sausage pieces to the top of the mix (the fat will render out and flavor everything else), cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes, add the peppers, cover and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender (you might have to dig around the pot a bit to be able to test them with a knife).
  4. Pour everything out into a large tray and serve family style, as-is or with some bread or biscuits to soak up the beer broth.




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