|Rating:||8.1 / 10|
|Value for Money||1.5 / 2.5|
|Taste||1.9 / 2.5|
|Convenience||2.2 / 2.5|
|Weight||2.5 / 2.5|
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 Cuisine has 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 any one store. In addition to the large variety of single serves (entrée size/single person), the company also has twin serves although the single serve options don’t seem to have as large a variety at least as far as the stores I visit. However the Roast Beef and Vegetable offering is one of those common meals you would expect to find in most stores.
The Back Country Cuisine Roast Beef and Vegetable meal tastes pretty much as you would expect. It’s a roast beef meal with peas, corn, carrot and potato mash. I personally find the ratio of vegetables to beef to be quite good but my wife Gill, who is not a corn fan, prefered that there was less corn. I don’t have much salt in my diet so my preference would have been for slightly less salt however I know this will suit most users just as it is. Texture wise the beef pieces are a bit chewy but that’s not unsurprising. I also prefer to add everything into a single bag and don’t separate the mash potato out but you may choose to do so.
One thing to note is that this meal is in the newly released packaging and apart from the more modern look, the packaging is more than just a cosmetic change. The instructions on preparation are simple and easy to follow and Back Country Cuisine has increased the suggested dehydration time from what used to be around 10 minutes to 12-15 minutes which is more realistic. The other improvement is to the amount of suggested water to add with most freeze dried meals ending up a bit watery if you use the recommended amount of water. In this case the suggested water was spot on and created a decent consistency that wasn’t too wet or too dry but just right.
The normal price sits around the $10.90 mark for a single serve pack which works out to be more expensive than the twin serves that usually cost around $15.90. Most of the larger chain stores offer member discounts or have regular sales so it’s worthwhile looking around. These products do have a three year best before shelf life so you can stock up at the sales in anticipation of an upcoming trip. I have used Back Country Cuisine meals after four years and they have been fine.
This 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 after you’re done because you can re-zip the zip lock for clean disposal.
So what is the final verdict? I’m not a big fan of roast beef meals at any time prefreing chicken or lamb, fresh or freeze dried, but if you like your beef then this may be a good option for you.
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$10.90 AUD RRP
Back Country Cuisine Roast Beef and Vegetables meal as purchased
Roast Beef and Vegetable ingredient list
Package instructions are simple and easy to follow. There are also clearly marked tear line to open the pack and to tear the bag down into a bowl size once ready to eat
Back Country Cuisine meal bag with the base folded out
Back Country Cuisine Roast Beef and Vegetables meal before rehydration. I usually add the mashed potato into the main bag rather than rehydrating seperatly
Back Country Cuisine Roast Beef and Vegetables meal rehydrated and ready to eat with the bag torn down to bowl size
This review was done with product provided for test by the Australian distributor of Back Country Cuisine