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Cowboy Cooking Corner: Big Bad John Casserole

by Cowboy Rich Herman

Okay, so there’s some background explanation behind the name of “Big Bad John Casserole”.  The story begins with me finding a recipe in an old cowhand cookbook that was used by cooks on the trail in the late 1800 hundreds. Well it was bland, so like I do with so many recipes I “Cowboy-Fied it”. The name of it didn’t give you much to go off: “Casserole”, that’s it!

Now all I know about Jimmy Dean is that he came from Plainview, Texas, served in the military, and went to church. He also was an American country music singer, television host, actor, and executive, best known today as the creator of the Jimmy Dean sausage brand. He rose to fame for his 1961 country crossover hit "Big Bad John" and his 1963 ABC television series, The Jimmy Dean Show, which also gave puppeteer Jim Henson his first national media exposure. He lived near Richmond, Virginia, and was nominated for the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010, although he was formally inducted posthumously.

So, because I used this great man’s sausage in my “Cowboy-Fied” version of this cowhand recipe it seemed the right thing to name it after this Texas Icons Song “Big Bad John”. In the end, I came up with a great dish that even small children devour, and I hope all of you enjoy it to. Thank you, Jimmy Dean, Big Bad John Casserole it is!

Thangs You Need

1 Lbs. Jimmy Deans Sausage (Browned & Crumbled)

4 Cups Mashed Potatoes

1 Grated Zucchini (Raw)

1 Medium White Onion (Chopped Fine)

4 Tbsp Fine Bread Crumbs

1 Cup Shredded Cheese

3 ½ Cooked Cabbage (Chopped)

4 Slices Bacon (Cooked & Crumbled)

1 Oz Bacon Grease

1 Tsp Garlic Powder

1 Tbsp Sage,

Salt & Pepper to taste

Getter Dun!

1.      Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

2.      Mix Potatoes, Cabbage, and Zucchini adding salt, pepper, sage, and garlic powder.

3.      Sauté onions in bacon grease add to potato mixture mixing while adding bread crumbs and combine the rest of the ingredients into mixture as well.

4.      Press firmly into a well-greased pan then cover with foil and slide into oven.

5.      Bake for about 45 minutes, then take from oven turning onto a plate so it will be brown on the top.

Serve it: Serve warm with a side salad, and a cold glass of sweet tea. Serve enough for 4 people.

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