Rating: 8.8 / 10
Value for Money 2.1 / 2.5
Taste 2.1 / 2.5
Convenience 2.2 / 2.5
Weight 2.4 / 2.5
The Outdoor Gourmet Company provides dehydrated / freeze dried meals to the Australian market. As far as commercially preprepared meals go and as the name suggests, they are a high end, high taste product. I’m a big fan of nearly all the Outdoor Gourmet Company meals and while I will very happily eat any of them I have my favourites.
The Outdoor Gourmet Beef Bourguignon has traditionally been one of favourites and it doesn’t matter how many months between trying it I always feel full and content after eating it. The texture of this meal is good and the various components that make up this meal resemble what they should. The meal comes with a separate pouch of mashed potato with the intent of preparing each meal pouch separately and then putting it all onto a plate or into a bowl. I must admit I can never see the purpose in this and find having two seperate meal bags annoying. I just empty the mashed potato into the main meal bag and add the identified amount of water for both. It may not look as pretty as its supposed to, but I’m fine with the result.
Unlike other companies, Outdoor Gourmet focuses on providing meals for two. These meals are larger than their competitor’s offerings (produced by the same company) by approximately 8-9% which doesn’t sound like much but does help explain the premium price. I’m a big eater and even after a two week long trip I am looking for more calories having used up my body’s reserves by this stage so will often pack some two person servings every 2-3 nights.
The obvious negative with any freeze dried meals, and in particular with Outdoor Gourmet offerings is the price. The normal price sits around the $16 mark and at about $8 per person that isn’t cheap. Having said that, the products do have a long shelf life so you can stock up during the regular sales at the outdoor stores.
These meals are very easy to prepare and as long as you can boil water then you are set with preparation time requiring only ten minutes. The suggested water addition of 570 mls is spot on being absorbed without leaving the meal looking like soup. I have yet to use cold water (and there is no reason why you can’t) however you would need to allow more time (a couple of hours to be ready for eating). 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 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 because you can re-zip the zip lock.
The Outdoor Gourmet Beef Bourguignon is a very good meal option, one of my favourites, and is well worth considering as part of hiking diet.
Great choice for an easy to prepare meal whether it be on a short or long trip. The Outdoor Gourmet meals are really good for couples being just that little bit bigger which make all the difference after a week on the trail
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The Outdoor Gourmet Company provides a range of nine main meals in a twin serve size In addition to this current review these include:
Outdoor Gourmet Beef Bourguignon 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 out, you will get ‘dry pieces’ in your dinner
Picture of the uncooked meal in the now open bag. The mashed potato has already ben added to the meal and mixed through
The meal now rehydrated and the bag ‘torn down’. The real food is recognisable in these meals. I will always premix the mashed potato through with the meal as I can’t be bothered preparing two seperate meal pouches. it saves having to use a bowl when you really don’t need to
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by the reviewer