I try a lot of these types of products, you can see other reviews by hitting the “Heat and Eat” tags. I try these not so much as a quest to find the world’s best cuisine, but rather due to a personal fascination at how much this industry segment is evolving. Some of my earliest memories of this ‘convenient’ type of food were the TV dinners that came in aluminum trays, had to bake forever, and tasted like crap. And there was (it seems) always a patch of still frozen something, somewhere in the presentation.
I grabbed this one on impulse the other day, at my local Fred Meyer’s, part of the Kroger chain, which is the nation’s largest grocer. I’ve noticed a mini trend that Fred Meyer’s is starting to have more Kroger labeled products. Kroger relies on some of its own factories (it has 40 factories nationwide and sells products to other chains as well), and also relies on outside manufactures that produce goods for private label.
This particular product was produced by RMH Foods, outside of Peoria, IL, which started as a butcher shop in 1937. The company grew and evolved through family leadership, was sold to Smithfield in 2001, and subsequently acquired back by the founder’s family in 2009.
The company’s primary prep method is is “Sous Vide” or “Cook-in-Bag”, and this Pot Roast entree is no exception. The ingredients list is brief: beef, dehydrated onion, carrot, and garlic, salt, pepper, dextrose (a sugar), parsley flakes, and caramel color. Period.
The product can be microwaved in minutes, for a hot, nutritious, and tasty dinner. I chose the conventional oven method of heating, and it took around 15 minutes. Quantity is 13 oz. or 4, 3 oz servings, according to the packaging.
I plated it with rice and spinach, and the results are pictured below. This is one of the better products I have tried in the heat and eat category. The meat was tender and nicely seasoned, very lean. The beef seems to have originated as a brisket. Total cost per plate for the meal? If you’re serving 4, with my menu or similar, it would come out to around $1.80 per person. Terrific.
I’d buy it again, and recommend you try it.