Friday, October 26, 2007

Milk Can Dinner.... AMAZING!!!

Well, well, well.... I FINALLY found it! I have been looking for this recipe for about a year now... (I know I probably didn't look extremely hard, but still, I had a hard time finding it...) Anyway, back when we lived in the apartment here, some friends invited us to a neighborhood cookout. They told us not to bring anything, they had it all covered. So the day came, and we started out toward the lake where we were eating, and I was hit smack in the face with this unbelievable burst of aromas and flavors... Yes... I could already taste it, it seemed. When it came time to start to eat, Jimmy took his milkcan... yes you heard it right, his milkcan and emptied its contents into a wheelbarrel parked next to the tables. Out of that can came one of the biggest, most amazing feasts I have ever laid eyes upon. There was corn, and potatoes, sweetpotatoes and cabbage, ham, and sausage, onions and carrots, etc, etc... In all honesty this was one of the best meals I have EVER had in my life. And so my search of this masterpiece commenced! I am so excited to have found this recipe, and I can't wait to test it out on friends. Hope you enjoy!

Milk Can Dinner

• 25 ears sweet corn, shucked (reserve a few husks for lining can)
• 25 medium red potatoes, scrubbed but unpeeled
• 3 pounds carrots, peeled and halved
• 6 medium onions, peeled and quartered (optional)
• 4 heads green cabbage, cored and quartered (optional)
• 50 Polish or German sausages, or for a spicier taste include some
• chorizo sausages
• Medium to large ham roast (2 lbs. of bacon can be substituted)
• 4-5 cups of water
• Salt and Pepper to season
• Butter or margarine
• Sour cream
• Tossed green salad
• Hot bread or biscuits
To prepare the fire, dig a shallow pit 8 inches deep by 20 inches wide. Place two cement blocks, which will support the milk can, on either side of the pit. Build the fire using about 10 to 15 pieces of hardwood (about 1-1/2 inches in diameter and 15 inches long). When the embers are white hot, the fire is ready. (Continue to add wood little by little to maintain a slow, even temperature while cooking.)
Place a thin layer of corn husks on the bottom of a clean, unrusted 8- or 10-gallon milk can to insulate the food from the fire. Place the potatoes in the can, then add layers of carrots, onions, corn, cabbage, ham and sausages. If necessary, stuff the sausages into the can. Salt and Pepper to taste. Add 3 cups of water. If your can has a lid, place it on gently to allow some steam to escape. (This is very important as a lid that is jammed on may cause steam to build up and blow both the lid and the contents of the can out the top.) If you do not have a lid, improvise one by placing a doubled sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the top of the can and crimping the edges.
Set the filled milk can on the cement blocks above the fire and cook gently for 1 to 1-1/4 hours. Add more wood to the fire as needed. If the liquid in the can seems to be boiling away, add the remaining water. Empty the can into serving containers. Large wooden bread bowls, even foil lined wheel barrels are great ways to serve this fun outdoor dinner.
Serves 20 to 25

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