US Food Safety Recalls and Tips
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Posts Tagged ‘frozen foods’

Banquet Boneless Pork Rib Review


Swanson Riblet ReviewLet’s file this one under two categories: 1) “things I’ve tried so you don’t have to”, and 2) “I don’t like ribs.”   I just never have liked ribs, though some other barbecue treats are a delight to me.   Funny, cause Mrs. Burgerdogboy can pack away multiple slabs at a time, and like a cur, when nobody is watching, she’ll crawl into a corner and continue working on the bones long after most diners would have tossed in the towel.  She guards them zealously, with her arm protecting her treasure, ex-con style.

We’ve made pilgrimages to BBQ meccas, together and apart. Together we delighted in the joints in Lockhart, TX, and all by my lonesome, I have traveled the NC BBQ trail.

Which brings us to the topic of the day.  Not even sure why this was in my freezer, I may have picked it up by accident from the $1 scratch and dent bin.

In appearance (and concept, I guess) the pork and ‘mechanically separated chicken’ patty resembles the infamous and mysterious McRib, that cult offering from McDonalds which only appears once or twice a year.

As ingredients are listed on a package in the order of weight, the bbq sauce is the largest component of the meal, followed by the mash, and then the meat patty, with corn holding up the rear.

Microwave instructions call for 3 minutes, stir potatoes, 2 minutes, then a 2 minute rest before consuming.

The sauce wasn’t bad, the texture of the patty was pretty unappealing to me, it may have been better slapped on a quality bun with onions and/or pickles.

I’d say it’s a quick and easy meal for kids, but it’s high in sodium and carbs.  If you don’t care, and you see them on sale, stock up!  Would I buy it again?  Hell, like I said, I don’t even remember buying it the first time, so no, HELL no.


Swanson Riblet Review

Frozen, out of the box


Swanson Riblet Review

Out of the nuke box (butter added)



Swanson Riblet Review

Plated, with butter & pepper added


Swanson Riblet Review

Close up of patty texture






Banquet Boneless Pork Rib Review


Signature Cafe Brand Shepherd’s Pie


I’m not really sure if Shepherd’s pie is a regional favorite in the US, I certainly didn’t know about it growing up in casserole central – Minnesota.  I did become aware of it, fond of it, living in London in the 90s.

For the unaware, classic Shepherd’s pie is a “hot dish” – basically a “meat pie” with a crust of mashed potatoes.  Different recipes/variations cal for the addition of vegetables, typically peas and / or carrots, stirred into a minced (ground) beef mixture.  The mashed potatoes are placed on top, and the dish is baked.

You might have been served this concoction under different names, like “cottage pie.”  In different regions of the UK, you might find a meat other than beef; lamb is one example.

Point being, at sometime this dish has entered mainstream US cuisine, or at least enough so that there is a Safeway store brand available in the ‘heat and eat’ section, next to other products of the same ilk – mashed potatoes, or mac n cheese.

Safeway’s version has minced beef, brown gavy, carrots, onions, and green beans, with a “golden potato and cheese crust.”   It comes in a package of nearly two pounds, and thus is a great value for a ‘balanced’ meal at less than $3.00 per pound.

The box claims you can get four servings from this entree.  Well, two if you are at our house.

The product is made by Lucerne Foods of California for the Safeway chain.

As always with these kind of “home tests”, I opted for conventional oven heating as opposed to the microwave prep.  The only discernable difference ot me is that conventional method takes about 6x longer than the microwave.  I could have expermented with a few minutes under the broiler to see if I could get the crust to “crust up”, but I didn’t.

We liked the product.  The flavor was good and the different ingredients were obvious.  The mashed potatoes, like most frozen mash, are a little less firm that home made potatoes, but the texture was not enough to put me off the product.

A hot, well-rounded meal in a few minutes, at a good price.  What more can we ask for these days?

Safeway Brand Shepherd's Pie


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