Author Topic: Ration Review (testing blog thinggy) Alpine Aire Seasoned Potatoes and Beef  (Read 1800 times)

elandil

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Ok, so I will admit it. One of my favorite breakfasts, especially when outdoors, is corned beef hash and eggs. The problem is the cans are heavy, it's next to impossible to find in retort pouches, and it's not real feasible for trips longer than a couple of days, or when weight is a concern. So, I've been looking for a Freeze-dried replacement. Unfortunately, unless someone wants to front me $4,000 for a home freeze dryer(which I would happily share ;D ), i'm stuck with commercial offerings. So, i'm doing taste tests to find/make the closest clone I can to a beef hash thats freeze-dried or dehdryated, and doesn't require a second mortgage on the house.

So far, Alpine Aire is the only one with any sort of offering.




As you can see by the destructions, it's an add water, wait, and eat. Or, add water, wait, fry, and eat. Contents include beef, onions, potatoes, and sauce/spices. It definately sounds rather good.

Opening the package did not quite yield what I expected.


For some reason, I expected cubes. So, the shreads threw me for a moment. However, the smell coming out of the package was rather enticing. Good, beefy smell, undertones of onion, spices adding harmonious notes... Had me looking forward to it. ;)

So, added the 16oz boiling water...

(yes, measured and brought to a rolling boil)

...Stirred it with a long spoon, making sure to reach down in the bag corners, sealed the zip top, and waited for double the 10 minute suggested time. (it aint my first freeze-dried rodeo... :D  )

When time was up, gave it another stir for good measure, then dumped it on a plate.


Ok, a little residual liquid...not a deal breaker. Still looks rather good, so I gave it a try....

:\

Flavorwise, it was good. Strong flavor of beef broth, the onions and paprika added a hint of spice, the beef was really good. But the potatoes..

...those potatoes...

... :(  ...

Sorry, but I've ate halfway cooked pasta that was more tender and less toothsome than those potato strips. Plus, there was still a feel of starch coating my tongue after the first bite. That coupled with how they tried to stick to everything....It was not a pleasing feeling.

So, I said to myself "Self, it also gave the option of frying. Lets see if that helps." Into the frying pan it went. And, to keep things in perspective, I used a non-stick pan of a size you would commonly see a camper or hiker carrying.


I cooked it until all the liquid was gone and I could hear sizzling. Then, back onto the wiped down plate.


So, how much did this help? None.

So, I went back to the old standby, doused it in tabasco, and started eating fast so I wouldn't have to chew as much. Managed to eat about 3/4ths of it before throwing in the towel. And, at the end it was almost just moving the potatoes around to get to the small meat cubes.

I think what depressed me about it was the fact that the potatoes seemed so underprepared. I know that it's easy to make good dehdryated/F-D shredded potatos. I keep them stocked in the pantry and use them for breakfast all the time, buying the big bulk boxes at the local warehouse store. So, I know it's not the potatos fault, instead its the fault of the company.

Luckily, this is not the end of my search. I have also procured both freeze dried diced beef, and some dehdryated cubed potatoes. Lets see if I can come up with something a little better on my own..  ;)
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