Some weeks ago, a kind contributor sent me a whole bunch of canned meat to help see me through the winter. I’m only familiar with one of these products, so I was interested to see how it went. Maybe you’ll profit from a review, for your canned food storage needs.
(The first of these reviews is going to sound like I’m complaining, which is not the case! I appreciate this gift very much, and if one of the four types of food didn’t work out, well, that’s a 75% success rate.)
Be that as it may, let’s get that pesky 25% over with quick.
All I can say about Banner canned sausage is Oh. Dear. God. This is the worst canned food product I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried canned corn beef hash. I’ve tried canned menudo. I’ve seen (but never tried) canned haggis. None of those things are as horrible as Banner canned sausage, which (guessing here) consists of 99.736% recycled fat, some wheat, and a homeopathic dose of …never mind, let me just go ahead and print the ingredients:
Partially defatted pork fatty tissue, beef tripe, mechanically separated chicken, water, wheat flour, salt, [and a bunch of the usual chemicals.]
A serving suggestion is helpfully included, and I highly recommend it for your slow suicide pleasure: “Heat sausage; add slightly beaten eggs and continue heating, stirring occasionally, until eggs are set.” The eggs are important, because when you heat the contents of this can it melts. The contents, not the can. I mean it just…melts. You need the eggs to give it any body at all. The taste is vaguely sausage-like, but mostly it tastes like the stuff you pour off a skillet of cheap hamburger into a mason jar. I only tried a few forkfuls, even with the eggs. I gave the remainder of what I had cooked up to Little Bear, and 20 minutes later he copiously vomited all over the Jeep’s driver seat. And I deserved that.
By comparison, Kirkland canned roast beef is fantastic stuff. It’s exactly as advertised, fully-cooked beef falling apart from its chunks. You can use this for anything, or eat it right out of the can. I’ve mostly used it in stews so far. Some day I’ll be near a Costco, and I’ll get more.
I had my doubts about the next two, but they’re not so bad.
I confess I cheated here. I had a feeling this wasn’t going to make very satisfactory hamburger patties, and I was right about that. But I have a spaghetti sauce recipe that calls for cheap ground beef, and this was perfect in that. The texture, smell and flavor are … not great, not what you’d serve to the Pope, but not that bad as long as you have plenty of other flavoring going on. As meat in spaghetti sauce, it’s great.
“Heat and serve pork,” to me, screams pulled-pork sandwiches. I approached this one with trepidation, because I bow to no man in the extent of my love for pulled-pork sandwiches and I haven’t had one in years. The label suggests barbecue sauce, and that sounded like good advice so I waited to open this can until I had the ingredients to do sandwiches right. As a fall-back, it would go into spaghetti sauce.
And you know, with some barbecue sauce this actually works. It’s not great pulled pork, but like the canned ground beef it’s not that bad. It doesn’t take a saucepan full of seasoning to make it palatable.
So there we are, samplings of the four canned meats sent to help me get through the winter with some protein in my bloodstream. Thanks so much!