Originally, rocks were used in the bottom of the can to keep food out of the liquid since we are steaming, not boiling. However, we have found the rings used on canning jars will work great! For the 10 ½ gallon can, 2 dozen of those rings just tossed in the bottom of the can will work nicely. After you are done, just put the rings in the dishwasher and you are ready for the next meal.
- 10 cans of beer. Some people prefer the taste of chicken or beef stock instead of beer. You can also use water if desired.
- 24 ears of corn on the cob with husks removed
- 1 large green cabbage
- 4 lbs of potatoes. Use smaller potatoes – or cut in half or thirds
- 6 lbs sweet potatoes (trust us on this, even if you think you don’t like sweet potatoes). Cut in chunks about the size of small new potatoes
- 3 lbs carrots cut in pretty big chunks
- 2 stalks celery (not two sticks…2 stalks) cut in pretty big chunks
- 4 bell peppers, maybe one green and one other color, cut in pretty big chunks
- 4 large onions, you guessed it, cut in pretty big chunks
- 4 small squash (zucchini, yellow, etc.) cut in pretty big chunks
- One large head of cauliflower, cut in pretty big chunks
- 2 medium bunches of broccoli, cut in pretty big chunks
- 10 lbs of sausage (brats, german sausage, smoked sausage, Italian sausage, etc.) Mix it up. Don’t just use one kind and don’t be afraid to add at least some spicy sausage as it will add some nice flavor. It is not absolutely necessary to cook the sausage before adding to the can, but we find it does taste better if you grill it beforehand (if it is not already cooked when you buy the package). We recommend the Johnsonville Sweet Italian brats, especially if you grill ‘em first. Cut all sausage in about thirds after cooking. Also especially tasty are Hillshire Farms hot and spicy Italian Sausage.
- Slice the cabbage and place on the rings you have in the bottom of the pan. This keeps the food out of the liquid. We are steaming, not boiling the food.
- Break the ears of corn in half and throw them into the pot.
- Add all the other vegetables to the can
- Add the sausage to the top of the can. This allows the juices from the sausage to drip down over the vegetables and make for a wonderful flavor.
- Put one small potato on the top of the can. You will see why later.
- Add your liquid (beer or chicken/beef stock). If using beer, don’t worry, the alcohol will burn off.
- For heat, we recommend a propane heater like you use with a turkey deep fat fryer. Put the cream can on the fire.
- Note – make sure that food is not blocking the steam hole on the top of the cream can.
- It will probably take 30-45 mins to work up steam from the top of the can, but when you see steam coming from the top of the can, let it cook for 30 minutes
- After 30 mins, turn off the heat and let the can sit for 5 minutes. It should be ready to eat!
- Remove the lid carefully by tapping it from the side.
- Make sure when the lid is removed that you don’t have your face (or any other body parts) sticking over the top of the can as the steam could burn you).
- There are several factors that will vary the cooking time (i.e. altitude, heat from the turkey fryer, etc.), so poke the potato that you put on top of the can with a fork. If it is soft, you are ready to eat. If it isn’t quite done, put the lid back on and put the can back on the heat for another 10 minutes or so. Let the can sit for another 5 minutes after turning off the heat and then do the tater check again. Repeat as necessary until the potato on the top is done.
- Use gloves to pour your wonderful meal into a large clean tote or something like that. A wheelbarrow lined with a clean trash bag works great.
- You can easily remove the rings with a fork
- Now your hungry crowd can fill their plates. They are bound to ask where the heck you got such a great cream can. Please tell them the Ogallala Cream Can Supper Company
- If you like, shut off the fire 20 minutes into cooking, let sit for 5 minutes and then add some ingredients that cook a little quicker, i.e. asparagus, sugar snap peas, or green beans. Then restart the fire for another 10 minutes to cook what you just added. Remember to shut off the heat and let things sit for 5 minutes before taking off the lid
- Do not cut the vegetables into too small pieces as they may turn to mush as you cook them.
- You may want to throw a few cloves of garlic in the bottom of the pan as well. It adds some great flavor to the steam. If you put the cloves in the microwave for about 7 seconds they pop out of the peels a little easier.
- For a little heat, remove the seeds from a few jalapeno peppers, cut in strips and place on top of the food before cooking. It won’t make the food hot, it will just give a little zing. Make sure you wear gloves when handling the peppers and don’t rub your eyes or skin as the oils will burn.
WARNING: For those of you who didn’t read the warning above, never have your face or any body part above the can when cooking or taking the lid off. The steam is burning hot and the can is hot as well. Always use gloves when handling the hot can….and by the way, don’t run with scissors.
Enjoy your meal and please share your recipes in the comments below.