• Weight Dry 90 Grams
  • Calories/Serve 400
  •  
  • Cost $10.95

Back Country Cuisine Beef and Pasta Hotpot

1 Serve

Rating

Rating:                  6.8/ 10

Value for Money              1.0/2.5

Taste                              1.0/2.5

Convenience                   2.3/2.5

Weight                            2.5/2.5

Back Country Cuisine Beef and Pasta Hotpot Review

The Back Country Cuisine range of outdoor meals is probably the best known in Australia. These meals are stocked by the majority of outdoor stores and many people consider them the staple meal choice for outdoor activities. Back Country do a huge range of meal choices and many stores seem to select a ‘top ten’ so you are unlikely to find the full range in stock in any one store. In addition to the large variety of twin serves, the company also provides single serving (entree) although the single serve options don’t seem to have as large a variety at least as far as what the stores seem to stock. I’m still working my way though the very large range but I am finding this adventure is a bit hit and miss. everyones tastes are different.

These meals are very convenient and preparation only requires the addition of 250 ml of boiling water and a recommended ten minutes to rehydrate. I have found leaving the meals for about 11-12 minutes tends to get a better result and I would suggest cutting the water back by about 20 mls as well; see what you think on this one.

The normal price sits around the $10.95 mark for a single serve pack with the twin serves working out more cost effective. Most of the larger chain stores offer member discounts or have regular sales so its worthwhile looking around. I brought this meal and a number of others at 20% of at an end of year financial sale so this makes a big difference when you are buying up big. As these products do have a long shelf life you can stock up as the sales come on line in anticipation of an upcoming trip.

The meal comes in a bag that is well designed and the bottom opens out to provide a flat base for those minimalists who want to leave the bowl at home. The option exists to tear the top off the bag to allow easy access to the food but you if you have a long handled spork/fork you won’t need to tear the bag. My other reason for not tearing the top off the bag is that you minimise any mess and after you’re done, you can re-zip the zip lock.

Not for the taste test! This is not a meal that I have ever eaten as a home cooked meal before but figured that it’s hard to go wrong with pasta. I was however apprehensive about this meal choice as it contains a flavour enhancer and while not MSG I know from personal experience that I don’t react well to them. My first comment would be that this meal requires a fork/spork to eat as the pasta spirals and beef pieces are hard to manage with a spoon. The next thing that I noticed is the strange beef pieces. The only way that I can describe the appearance and the texture is as a square sausage that has been thinly sliced. My first taste confirmed my initial thought of the beef as it tastes like a thinly sliced square sausage. I felt that the meal tastes a bit underwhelming as it lacked a degree of spiciness but that probably suits the majority of hikers. However as I continued eating this meal it surprised me. For all my negative thoughts I couldn’t stop eating it and in fact rather than pacing myself I couldn’t stop shovelling the food into my mouth. Go the flavour enhancer!

So what is the verdict? I think that there are a number of meal choices from both Back Country and Outdoor Gourmet that taste far better, and are more satisfying. While I wouldn’t add this to my normal meal rotation on a long trip I think that some people will like this meal option.

Features/Advantages/Benefits

  • Three year warranty which means you can buy these when you see them discounted thereby reducing the price. You also know the meals will always be edible
  • Minimal preparation time.  All you are doing is rehydrating these meals so once you add boiling water there’s only a 10-12 minute wait
  • If you eat from the bag there is only the spork/fork to clean up. In fact you may not even need to carry a bowl at all thereby limiting the weight you carry
  • A very large variety of meals from which to choose both single and double serves so it’s unlikely you will become bored unless you are on a really long hike
  • Freeze dried. This takes much of the weight out of the meals and helps to limit the impact on your body
  • Single serve options provide just the right size for solo travellers on short trips

The Negatives

  • The main negatives of any commercially preprepared dehydrated / freeze dried meals is the cost. The Back Country Cuisine meals are cheaper than their competitors which only offer twin serve meals however per person this single serve meal is $10.95 which is not cheap. These meals are cheaper/serve when bought in the twin serve size
  • Single serve start being a bit small on longer trips when you burn through the calories. I will usually pack a mix of single and double meals on longer trips.
  • Taste is very much a personal thing but for me it was more that texture and the flavour enhancer that were the big negatives for me.

Best Uses

An easy to prepare meal whether it be on a short or long trip for camping and hiking

Other Versions

Mexican Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken 

Cottage Pie

Honey Soy Chicken

Classic Beef Curry

Beef Stoganoff

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Creamy Carbonara

Nasi Goreng

Sweet and Sour Lamb

Chicken Tikka Masala

Moroccan Lamb

Roast Chicken

Beef Teriyaki

Chicken Tomato Alfredo

Thai Chicken Curry

Pasta Vegetariano

Roast Lamb and Vegetables

Lamb Fettuccine

Smoked Fish Pie

Venison Risotto

Vegetarian Stirfry

Hearty Venison Casserole

Malaysian Vegetable Curry

 

 

Disclaimer

This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by the reviewer

Back Country Cuisine Beef and Pasta Hotpot as purchased

The bottom of the bag opens out to provide a flat surface. Opening out the base will allow the meal to more evenly rehydrate. If you don’t open the base fully, you will get ‘dry pieces’ in your dinner

Uncooked meal in the now opened bag

The meal now rehydrated and the bag torn down

Comments

comments