Groundhog Day, held on February 2nd, is usually not a day for serving traditional foods or for family get-togethers with fancy buffets. In fact, most people ignore it as a holiday and check only to see if the groundhog actually sees his shadow. For those of us, however, who like any excuse to make a festive dish, it is a day to serve “ground hog” (pork) along with a dessert that resembles the cute little rodent that the holiday is named for. Rice & Ground Hog Casserole is great to serve on Groundhog day, since it has minimal ingredients, can be partially prepared ahead, and can be cooked on the top of the stove, baked in the oven, cooked in the slow cooker, or thrown in the rice cooker. The rice cooker is fastest and easiest – it takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish. Celery, onions, and peppers can be chopped ahead, or dehydrated vegetables can be used – no chopping necessary. The ground hog can be browned and drained a day or two ahead and refrigerated until time to add it to the casserole.
Although most grocery stores don’t have groundhog in the meat department, they carry several different kinds of “ground hog” (pork sausage): sage, honey, bacon & sausage, hot, etc. You can choose your favorite flavor for this casserole. Rice and Ground Hog Casserole is so easy, older kids can prepare it by themselves. Add a salad and crusty bread for a complete meal.
1 pound pork sausage
1 cup Converted Rice
1/4 cup dehydrated celery, or 2 cups diced fresh celery
1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes
3 tablespoons dehydrated red and green peppers, or dehydrated green peppers
1 tablespoon granular chicken bouillon
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 cups hottest tap water
- Brown the sausage and break it up into small bits. Drain well and add to the bowl of the rice cooker.
- Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and turn on the rice cooker.
- When the cooker finishes, stir before serving.
Oven Baked: The ingredients can be mixed in a deep 9 x 9” casserole dish, covered and baked for one hour at 350°.
Stovetop: Bring the water to a boil, add the remaining ingredients, and turn down to a simmer; simmer 20 minutes or until the rice is done.
Slow Cooker: Place all ingredients in the slow cooker; stir and cook 3-4 hours or until the rice is done. Stir before serving.
Variation: Use hot sausage and add 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 441 Calories from Fat 148
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 34% Protein 15% Carb. 51%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 16 g
Saturated Fat 5 g
Cholesterol 41 mg
Sodium 805 mg
Total Carbohydrate 56 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g
Sugars 6 g
Protein 17 g
Don’t have a rice cooker? They are available in all types and price ranges from Amazon:
Aroma ARC-838TC 8-Cup Digital Rice Cooker & Food Steamer
Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5-1/2-Cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer, Premium White