Did you know that Groundhogs are edible? Thinking that it would be appropriate to serve a real groundhog for dinner to celebrate Groundhog Day, which is on February 2nd, I checked out local grocery stores, and found that none in my area carry fresh groundhogs in their meat departments. There are no groundhogs in the freezer departments either. To be honest, I am not really that disappointed.
For years I have been preparing dishes on Groundhog Day that contain “ground hog.” Sometimes I use sausage, and other times I use plain ground pork or grind some ham. All three of these meats are readily available, and there are lots of good dishes that can be made with them.
If you haven’t celebrated this holiday in the past, now is the time to start. Here is a quick and easy main dish using sausage that is perfect to serve on Groundhog Day. The hot, sweet, and savory flavors in this dish are delicious, and it goes together very fast. To speed things up, cornbread mix is used, and that can be stirred up quickly by hand; no mixer needed. All you need to complete the meal is a salad, and of course groundhog cookies (link at the bottom of this article) for dessert.
If you prefer a milder dish, you may use 1/2 pound mild pork sausage and 1/2 pound regular sausage. Hot Italian sausage is also great in this dish.
1 pound hot pork sausage
1 medium onion , finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped green bell peppers
2 tablespoons flour
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup sliced black olives
2 packages cornbread mix, (8.5 ounce) such as Jiffy
Preheat the oven to 400°. Cook sausage, onion, and green pepper in skillet until sausage is brown and crumbly. Stir in flour, tomato paste, salt, chili powder, and pepper; mix well, then fill the tomato paste can with water and stir it into the mixture. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and olives. Spread in a 9" square glass casserole dish (or 9" round or 7 x 9" oblong dish).
Prepare the cornbread mix according to directions on package. Spread over the sausage mixture. Bake 30-35 minutes, until the cornbread is cooked through. Let stand 5 minutes; loosen edges and invert over serving plate. Serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 483 Calories from Fat 151
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 31% Protein 10% Carb. 59%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 17 g
Saturated Fat 6 g
Cholesterol 77 mg
Sodium 1459 mg
Total Carbohydrate 71 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 12 g
Vitamin A 22% Vitamin C 21% Calcium 0% Iron 18%