A few weeks ago at Win-Co, I spotted a can of Nalley Campfire Beef Stew next to the Dinty Moore Beef Stew. The big Nalley can was 40 ounces, and less than half the price of the big cans of Dinty Moore, making it less than $2 for a 40 ounce can, a pretty good price for beef stew.
Recognizing a good price, but reluctant to be stuck with too much of something we couldn't stand, I picked up two cans. After staring at them for a while, I begged my wife to do something with one of the cans for dinner this week...whether it was over rice, or egg noodles, or with a biscuit crust as a casserole...just please, open one up so I can see if we should stock on more of them.
And so, she did. Monday night for dinner she opened a can, and dumped it into a 9 X 13 inch pan, and covered it with some fake flakes and Munster cheese, for a little faux shepherds pie. She had planned on using some Jiffy for a cornbread topping, but changed her mind after opening the can. She admitted to me that her initial instinct was to throw the whole can away...the smell wasn't bad, but she said there was an orange grease sheen that turned her off.
From a looks standpoint, I have seldom seen anything as falsely represented as this Nalley Beef Stew.
It didn't look like the front of the can:
There wasn't a piece of anything in that can larger than a nickle. For those folks used to the gristle chunks in a can of Dinty Moore, the appearance of this stew was depressing...the largest chunk of meat I saw was about the size of a pea. My initial thought is they are using the same ground meat they use for their chili in their beef stew.
Appearance aside...the flavor wasn't bad. My wife's first bite was very tentative(she was not impressed after opening the can), but then she dug in.
My opinion is that this is not a 'stand alone' meal...but as an inexpensive protein source...not bad. It's something you could use to pour on top of either baked/mashed potatoes, or rice. The meal my wife made the other night fed the four of us, PLUS gave me two days worth of lunch for a total cost of like $3.50($2 for stew, .50 for fake flakes, and then another buck worth of cheese).
My wife is hitting Win-Co tomorrow...I'll probably ask her to pick up another 10-12 cans of this. It looks like a good option of long-term storage, as well as being something I could work into the food rotation once every two weeks...