A Tale of Three Beef Stews

Reviews and taste-tests of any MREs from 1981-present
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Big Galloot
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A Tale of Three Beef Stews

Post by Big Galloot » Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:31 pm

A Tale of Three Beef Stews
An in depth review by Big Galloot

They were the best of stews… They were the worst of stews…

This is a review of three different shelf-stable beef stews. Two are commercial products; Dinty Moore Beef Stew and the new Del Monte Harvest Selections Beef & Vegetable Stew. The third is from a 2004 vintage MRE packed by the good people at Wornick.

Before opening the selections I briefly examined the Nutrition facts of each to see what can be gleaned from the labels. For those of you who may not be aware of American packaging, the ingredient list must be in the order of which component there is the most of. The first ingredient listed for the MRE and Del Monte stews is beef. The Dinty Moore product listed potatoes first. It must also be noted that these entrees all contain massive sodium, from 36% of the USDA requirement for Del Monte, to 42% for the MRE, and a whopping 52% for the Dinty Moore. Surprisingly, the two 10oz. commercial stews had 250 calories each and the 8 oz. MRE entrée had 290.

Upon opening the packaging there is an immediate difference in the aromas released. The Del Monte product released a strong aroma of beef stew, the MRE smelled like beef stew if you sniffed at it, and the Dinty Moore did not really produce much smell being in a coagulated state.

After heating but before actually taste testing, I employed the test of choice… a cat. I provided my cat, Wendell the Magnificent, with a small sample of each stew. He immediately went to the MRE sample and ate it.

This gave me the courage to take fork in hand and perform my own taste test. First, let me say that I am assuming that we all know what Dinty Moore stew tastes like and I am regarding it as the standard by which the others are to be judged. It tastes like beef stew.

The Del Monte product had good chunks of beef and vegetables, but you did not have the feeling like they had been cooked together. It was like they had been cooked and then poured into the same package. It was good but when you are used to having your stew tossed into a crock pot and having the bejeebers cooked out of it, it was an unstew-like product. The “gravy” was mostly soupy, reminiscent of vegetable beef broth. Although I did not care for the consistency, they did get the taste right. It is edible stuff, no question.

The MRE was my clear favorite. As I have stated before, I like my stew thoroughly cooked and the Natick habit of cooking the life out of everything works well for stew. Although it looked the least appetizing, it was definitely the tastiest of the three.
Attachments
cat pick.JPG
Wendell chooses the MRE!
stew.JPG
Opened for all the world to see. Notice the test cat sneaking in for a sample
outerstew.JPG
The contestants
You can pick your friends
and you can pick your nose
but you can't roll your friends into little green balls!

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BigMark
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Post by BigMark » Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:52 pm

Awesome review.

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dirtbag
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Post by dirtbag » Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:04 pm

I'm not sure having a cat do a taste test is relevent. :P
Cats of my acqaintence generally think that "fell off the Gut Wagon' flavor is exquisite, second only to 'What the Hell is that? flavor.... :lol: :lol: :lol:
Conniseurs, they ain't !!! :wink:
I have to agree about the Dinty Moore. potatoes and grease...
Mre stew is good, excellent if you add cheese! Yum !!!
Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO

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Bypah
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Post by Bypah » Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:16 pm

nice review....
They need to creat a T-shirt with a cat saying "I love MRE's ..mmmeooowww!!!! :lol:
Here I don't use feline but canine expertise.....lol and he likes them!!!! :mrgreen:
...except the russian "canned dog food" , I mean IRP's..... :shock: :shock: :roll:

8)
"Live long and prosper..."

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DangerousDave
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Post by DangerousDave » Sat Jul 26, 2008 8:15 am

:) Smart Kitty. I'll have to try that, as soon as I catch another feral cat in the Hav-a-Hart trap. Excellent! :wink:

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Big Galloot
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Post by Big Galloot » Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:19 pm

Sorry, they took down the video!
Last edited by Big Galloot on Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
You can pick your friends
and you can pick your nose
but you can't roll your friends into little green balls!

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kman
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Post by kman » Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:39 am

Great review, Big Galloot! I like the cat tests, personally. I have a few cats myself and I'm always happy to point out to Mrs. Kman that there was a ration product the cats wouldn't eat but that tasted fine to me. :-)

davek
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Post by davek » Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:17 am

kman wrote:Great review, Big Galloot! I like the cat tests, personally. I have a few cats myself and I'm always happy to point out to Mrs. Kman that there was a ration product the cats wouldn't eat but that tasted fine to me. :-)
The cat test is a good test. Dogs will eat most anything, especially if they see The Man eating it first. If a cat eats it, then it probably tastes good!

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