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Slow-Cooker Milk-Can Supper

Here’s a slow-cooked version of an old campfire classic. Pioneers and cowboys would cook this kind of meal over a milk can on an open fire, letting the flavors and textures blend together beautifully. —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 6 hours
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 8 uncooked bratwurst links
  • 2 pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
  • 1 small head cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup light beer
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth


  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat; add sausages and cook until browned, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.
  • Place potatoes in single layer on the bottom of a 6-qt. slow cooker. Top with cabbage, onions, carrots and parsnips. Add thyme, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Add sausages; pour beer and chicken broth over top. Cook, covered, until vegetables are tender, 6-8 hours. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Parsnips are a white root vegetable with a creamy texture when cooked. Look for them in the produce section, near the carrots, in your grocery store.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 serving: 457 calories, 27g fat (9g saturated fat), 63mg cholesterol, 967mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 4g fiber), 15g protein.

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    Average Rating:
    • rwippel
      Sep 28, 2020

      This is a great slow cooker meal. I do think the dish would have benefited from seasoning salt as

    • IGM
      Jun 14, 2020

      Where is the milk in this recipe?

    • MelodieMac
      Feb 10, 2020

      The only criticism I have is, they need to tell those who may not know that parsnips can taste like varnish smells if not FRESH. The way to tell that is they are to be very firm. If at all bendable do not buy! They are old. But fresh ones are delicious! I cook mine on low, 7 hours and it was perfect, and very delicious. I will definitely make it again.

    • Sue Zappa
      Nov 16, 2019

      Did anyone actually try this recipe as I'd like to know what you thought of it?? The two "reviews" here aren't reviews because neither person tried it! The ingredients sound like something my family would really enjoy, but I'd like to hear from people who've made it, any changes they made, etc.! Thank you! TOH, perhaps you need to have a separate "Comments/Questions" Section so people can reserve the "Reviews" section for real reviews! All of us have questions at times

    • Rahnee64
      Sep 16, 2019

      Patrick, if you happen to read this, I fully understand what you mean. But with the ingredients listed and the amount of time stated, I would say cook on low. I hope this helps.

    • Patrick
      Aug 1, 2019

      Interesting recipe. The only problem I have with this recipe is that the author did not mention whether the Slow Cooker should be on LOW or HIGH. This is a big disappointment and makes the recipe incomplete.