Make a crown roast is one of those super-fancy things that really gives a dish some additional visual appeal. It’s so fancy that I’ve never even had one, let alone attempted to make one. And it isn’t the sort of thing that just comes out of the animal (more or less), it takes a hell of a lot of work to assemble, which is part of what makes it so impressive.
Fanciness! And somebody at Campbell’s wanted to figure out how to give that same gourmet flair to a one dollar soup casserole.
(I guess they forgot that it’s impossible to give visual appeal to frankfurters?)
FRANKFURTER CROWN CASSEROLE
2 slices of bacon
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
3 cups sliced cooked potatoes
1 cup cooked green beans
1/2 pound frankfurters, split and cut in half
1. In skillet, cook bacon. Remove and crumble. 2. Cook onion in drippings. 3. Stir in soup, water, salt, pepper. 4. Add potatoes, beans. 5. Pour into 1 1/2-qt. casserole. 6. Stand up franks around edge. Bake at 350˚F. 30 min. 7. Top with bacon. 4 servings. For German-style seasoning: just add 1 to 2 tbsp. vinegar with soup.
If this was really German style, we’d need cabbage instead of green beans… we might get around to making our own sauerkraut one of these days, but it’s not today.
A little bit (a lot?) of prep work went on before this photo — the bacon was crisped and crumbled, the onion was chopped, and the potato was sliced and cooked.
So it’s a little bit deceptive how easy this is going to look. It takes a few minutes to chop that onion before frying it for a little bit.
And it takes some work to neatly slice all the hot dogs in half.
And it takes a bit of time of open the soup can to pour it in. (Well, OK, that’s really not a challenge.)
Oooh, look at all the lovely striations of pork grease in the mushroom soup. “Yum,” right, Campbell’s?
Time for the potatoes and beans to join the party!
Look at those gorgeous goop-covered vegetables, sitting in the casserole dish.
Now, trying to stick a bunch of hot dogs into a glass dish while it’s full of strange goopy potatoes is a surreal experience that takes a lot longer than all the frying and chopping.
I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the verticality and symmetry of the frankfurters here, but I was refusing to listen anymore to the schlorping noises that are produced when trying to shove meat tubes under soup-covered potatoes.
Besides, my fingers were getting burnt by all the hot, soupy potatoes.
Turns out it didn’t really matter, because the hot dogs got all curled over the edges when they were baked. So the super-fancy presentation suffered somewhat — it’s still kinda neat, I guess, but doesn’t look like the impressive fence they were promising.
This tasted reasonably alright, much like any cream-of-something-soup-based casserole. And the wonky frankfurter presentation sort of works, as long as your family is the type that likes to laugh with you at strange and unpredictable recipes. (If I was an uptight housewife who cared deeply about cooking beautiful dinners, then I’d probably freak out and break into the cooking wine.) Realistically, any casserole with hot dogs works better when the wieners are cut into bite-size chunks and mixed in, so just skip the fancy frank crown and put the meat bits directly in the goop.