28 September, 2009

Banquet Select Recipes Slow Cooked Beef

This Banquet meal was on clearance at my local Big Y supermarket, which kind of struck me as odd - how bad does an already-somewhat-mediocre frozen meal have to be to get marked down? - so, naturally, I gambled a dollar to find out. As it turns out, Banquet's Slow Cooked Beef really isn't all that heinous.

The meal consists of chunks of beef in gravy served on egg noodles, with a side of cut green beans. The noodles are pretty standard and not all that bad - they didn't turn out tough or leathery, and they were a huge improvement from the somewhat lesser-quality noodles I found in Banquet's Swedish Meatballs. Plopped in the middle of the noodle pile was a serving of beef cubes with gravy.

The beef was obviously slow-cooked; it was tender and flavorful (aided by various seasonings and whatever industrial culinary magic ConAgra could come up with) and quite obviously beef - not some kind of "mystery meat." The meat itself was actually somewhat enjoyable. Too bad it was combined with the gravy, which tasted absolutely loveless and artificial; I swear it was cheap bouillon (fake beef + salt) thickened up to mimic gravy.

The green beans were pretty much what I expected, which is to say a little overcooked, a little "grassy" tasting, but otherwise okay. (I never buy frozen green beans because I hate the way they cook up - green beans are one of the very few veggies that I actually buy in cans.)

I have to say that overall, though, this particular meal is one of the better Banquet offerings, and well worth picking up on sale.


Andrew Green said...

You ever try something from the "Budget Gourmet" line? I used to buy those frozen meals at Walmart for a dollar when I was really broke.

Anonymous said...

Banquet's Swedish Meatballs is actually really good. You should give them a try sometime. The noodles are a bit dry but I just add a pat of butter half way through cooking. A little cayenne pepper is good too.