If there is one thing I've learned from buying oddball food products in dollar stores and ethnic markets, it is this: Canned beef is generally pretty nasty. It's often tricked out with fillers and glutamates, and the associated "gravy" is usually tastes artificial and tinny.
And so, my expectations were pretty low (as usual) when I bought a can of Comfort Creek Foods Gravy and Roast Beef at Dollar Tree. For one thing, I knew there'd be more gravy in the can than beef - not only was it right there on the label, but the can sloshed a little when I gently shook it.
Lynnafred mocked me when I brought it home. "It's in a dog food can," she said, "You and your damned food shenanigans."
I opened the can carefully so it wouldn't slosh, and found what looked like a can of nothing but gravy (since the level of the liquid was far above that of the meat.) And I have to admit, the first sniff was not promising: it smelled rather cheap and pet-foody.
But I dumped it out on a plate anyway and found chunks of real beef which did not seem to have been stretched with TVP or other weirdness. I heated it up in the microwave and gave it a taste, and...
...found that it was actually pretty good.
The beef was tender and tasted just like homemade pot roast, although a little more dry and a bit crumbly. And the gravy was flavorful - beefy, well-seasoned, and not too salty.
I heated up some leftover mashed potatoes, made a well in the center of them, poured in the gravy and beef and had a really good lunch.
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