|Rating:||7.8 / 10|
|Value for Money||1.6 / 2.5|
|Taste||1.5 / 2.5|
|Convenience||2.2 / 2.5|
|Weight||2.5 / 2.5|
The Back Country Cuisine (meat based) Cottage Pie ranks as one of my favourite meals. It reminds me of a favourite childhood meal so I was interested to see how a vegetarian option stacked up against its meat based cousin. At the time of testing the Back Country Cuisine Veggie Cottage Pie had only recently been released onto the Australian market.
First up its great to see companies like Back Country creating more and more vegetarian meal options to suit the needs of not just vegetarians but also meat eaters like me who appreciate plant based meals for a bit of variety.
Being a new offering this meal isn’t as commonly available as the other more established options from Back Country but if you look around you’ll find it in both the single and two person serves. These meals are slightly smaller than those from the Outdoor Gourmet range (by approximately 8-9%) and with this, the price is also lower. The normal price for a single (small) serve sits around the $12.99 mark while the twin serve is around $19.99. Most of the larger outdoor stores offer member discounts or have regular sales so its worthwhile looking around. These products do have a long shelf life so you can stock up during the regular sales. Size wise I find the single serve to be spot on and if I’m doing a multi-week hike, I will intersperse the odd larger meal for when I’m really hungry.
These meals are very easy to prepare – as long as you can boil water then you’re set. Preparation time is only 10-15 minutes and I would suggest you opt for 15 minutes to allow the lentils to soften adequately. The suggested water addition is 500 ml, split between the two components. I added 500 ml to the combined food and it was spot on.
Like its meat based cousin, this vegetarian offering comes with a seperate bag of mashed potato to which its suggested you add half the boiling water with the remaining 250 ml going into the other. I prefer to add the potato mix to the main meal, mix it together and then add the combined amount of water (500 ml).
The meal comes in a bag that is well designed and the bottom opens out to form 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 if you have a long handled spoon 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 given you can re-zip the zip lock.
Now onto the taste and texture. This is definitely a cottage pie meal, that much is obvious but for me the thing I really love about the meat based option is that it brings back childhood memories. In the case of the vegetarian option, the taste is good and you can tell that this meal is plant based. Like the majority of adventure based meals the offering is a bit on the bland side but I’m a spice lover and I know that most people don’t like the level of heat I do. You can always add spices but can’t take them out! Texture wise there’s a bit more texture to this meal over the meat based option because of the lentil base.
So what’s the verdict? For me this one is never going to compete with the meat cottage pie option and in all honesty as far as vegetarian options go, we still prefer the Back Country’s Nasi Goreng and Vegetarian Stirfry if we had to pick. Having said that I do like it as an on-trail meal and would be happy to eat it, particularly on longer trips where variety is important.
An easy to prepare meal for short or long trips when camping and hiking
You can purchase the Back Country Cuisine Veggie Cottage Pie (single or regular) meal online from Wildfire Sports
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Back Country Cuisine Veggie Cottage Pie as purchased
Bottom of the bag flattened out
Back Country Cuisine Veggie Cottage Pie ingredient and nutrition panel. The suggested level of water to add is spot-on
Back Country Cuisine Veggie Cottage Pie dry ingrediants in bag opened and uncooked
Potato sachet unopened
Back Country Cuisine Veggie Cottage Pie rehydrated and ready to eat. The mashed potato has been mixed through with the vegetable component. It doesn’t look as pretty as the artistically displayed image below but it tastes the same
Back Country Cuisine Veggie Cottage Pie artistically displayed
This review was done with product provided by the Australian distributor of Back Country Cuisine