Hikefull is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
If there was one meal to epitomize classic backcountry fair, it might be the Mountain House Beef Stroganoff. It’s a standard in the Mountain House lineup, even warranting a place on Mountain House’s “Classics” roster, which brings back original recipes from days past. This meal can be found just about anywhere, from the shelves of REI to Walmart and as this review will highlight, its rightly deserved. Mountain House’s Beef Stroganoff is a savory and delicious workhorse of a meal. Reliably filling and delicious, Hikefull easily recommends this dish with few caveats.
Serving Size: 61 grams (dry mix, makes 1.5 cups.)
Calories Per Serving: 280
Servings Per Container: 2
Recommneded Soak Time: 9 minutes
Retail Price: $10.98/Double Serving
What We Liked
- Rich and creamy sauce
- Everything about the egg noodles
- Savory and well-flavored
- Great value
What We Didn't Like
– Light on the mushrooms, which is a common ingredient in many preparations of the dish
Review Location: Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia. Elevation 3675′
MIKE: I settled down with Mountain House Beef Stroganoff after my first day of a solo hike through the Dolly Sods Wilderness. I prepared the meal atop Lions Head rock formation just as the sun was going down, as the dusk chill set in. Overall, this meal really hit. I noted that it was “savory, rustic, and hearty” – just the qualities I’m craving while watching the sun go down on some windswept rock formation.
BRE: I actually tried this dish after a long bike ride on a moderately hot day. I was pretty hungry and needed something filling and substantial. I had worked up one of those appetites that only a bike ride can summon. This was exactly the lip-smacking comfort food I was craving.
MIKE: Comfort food describes it well. There is something very comforting about egg-noodle ribbons bathed in a velvety beefy, brothy, creamy sauce. I might even call this a “gravy” over a sauce. It’s rich, salty (but not too salty), and flavorful. A person could even be forgiven for drinking the remaining gravy out of the bag. I’m not saying I did that, but I might have done that.
BRE: Yeah, the sauce or whatever we are calling it is that good. I liked how the twisty noodle ribbons soaked up so much of the gravy and there was the perfect ratio between the two. I also thought the dish was perfectly seasoned, neither too bland nor too salty. I liked how the beef base was infused with a subtle rosemary flavor.
MIKE: I liked that rosemary kick as well, which adds an authentic rustic quality to the dish. There is also a slight mushroom flavor and a little bit of tanginess from the sour cream. The onions also come through, both as a flavor and as a texture.
MIKE: Texture-wise, everything rehydrated really well. The noodles retained their integrity. The beef was present as little unpronounced chunks of meatball. The onions were notable as they punctuated the sauce with a little crisp texture, being almost snappy.
BRE: Overall, the texture is kind of non-descript. It’s what you would hope from a dish like this. I agree that both the noodles and the meatballs were tender. My one critique of this dish is that the mushrooms are merely a background element of this dish. While you can kind of imagine a subtle mushroom flavor in the sauce, I would have liked more actual slices of mushroom, which could make this meal a little more dynamic.
MIKE: Agreed. Under close inspection, its like a teaspoon of mushroom confetti has been added to the sauce, with mushrooms appearing as specks or fragments. Overall, a small complaint.
Final Verdict: Recommended
BRE: I was hungry and needing to fill the tank. Mountain House delivered with this one. It has a savory and balanced flavor. It’s simple yet delicious, earning its place as an old standby. This is comfort food at its best. I could eat this again and again.
MIKE: Yeah, well said. Comfort food at its best. This is a case of “don’t mess with it if it’s not broken.” I feel like a metaphor is needed here. If this were a hiking shoe, it might be the waffle-soled leather Danners with red laces. Yeah, there might be lighter boots with space-age materials and new-fangled features, but there is a reason you still see those red laced boots travelling down any given trail across the land.
BRE: Haha. Right. It’s simple, dependable, filling, and delicious. One could call it a workhorse of a meal.
We couldn’t help but notice the expiration date of March 2053, almost 30 years into the future. As Mountain House boasts on their website they offer a 30-year taste guarantee. One reviewer on the Mountain House website explained conducting a 5 year storage test featuring multiple brands of backpacking food. Despite being stored in the humidity of Florida, the reviewer reported that after 5 years not only did Mountain House still taste good, it was the only brand to still taste good. Hmm.