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In Celebration of Stouffer’s Frozen “Macaroni and Beef”

Macaroni and BeefEnough tiptoeing around the issue. I’m going to come right out and say it. Stouffer’s brand Macaroni & Beef with Tomatoes is the best godamned frozen dinner you can ever eat. All right, naysayers, I hear what you’re saying, with your protests of Hungry Man XXL “Backyard BBQ,” and Kid Cuisine “Fiesta Beef Taco Dippers,” but no. You’re wrong. Stouffer’s hearty mix of tomatoes, beef, and elbow macaroni is the only acceptable thing that could ever come out of your microwave. Ready in just six and a half minutes, and weighing it at only 330 calories and 700,000 grams of sodium, this one is a delight to all the senses.

On the surface, this may look like that “American Chop Suey” made-up food that used to get ice cream-scooped onto your tray in the fourth grade. But it’s not, and I dare you to try and make it from scratch. It can’t be accomplished. “Oh, but Malcolm, you can just mix some hamburger into a box of macaroni and cheese!” To you I say, “Ha, ha, and ha, jackass.” You think I wouldn’t have tried that? It’s not the same thing, not by a long shot. I’ve looked at the attempted recipe knockoffs online. I’ve even tried buying every item on the ingredient list (except, of course, for the dextrose and cultured whey), in an effort to bulk-replicate the results found in this tiny plastic tray. But no. There is no replicating this food magic, this mix of flavors, the zip of the tomatoes, the hearty chunks of beef. I like to microwave mine a little too long, so I get a nice crust around the rim. Mix in some red pepper flakes, crack a Miller High Life, and you have got a delicious ten minutes in front of you.

So readers, I urge you. Always, always, always have at least two boxes on hand. Why two? Well, silly, if you only have one, then you will never eat it. Because if you eat it, it will be gone. And then you won’t be able to eat it. It is important to always keep a backup box in the freezer. You can even write “For Emergency Use Only” on it in black Sharpie, but that’s just me. Just get some, and know what it’s like to find bliss in a tiny red box.

There Are 6 Responses So Far. »

  1. You learned this from your dad, you know. Blood will tell…especially if it involves tomatoes and beef…

  2. Going right out to eat what we call Beefy Mac, right now

  3. I make this all the time, from scratch! Who knew I could buy it frozen and nuke it? Thanks for the tip!

  4. Will W.J. post his recipe???

  5. Right, you asked for it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    1lb ground beef
    1 large yellow onion
    As many chopped mushrooms as you can lay hands on
    1 beef stock cube
    Assorted spices, if you want to tart it up a little
    1 can condensed tomato soup
    1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
    Maybe 2 cups uncooked pasta twists

    Brown the ground beef with the onions. Stir in the mushrooms, stock cube, spices, and anything else that looks interesting. Throw in the pasta and cover with maybe 4-5 soup cans of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and try to wait until the pasta’s cooked before diving in face-first.

    Especially tasty topped with fresh tomatoes & lashings of sweet chilli sauce. Yes, even when made with TVP.

  6. WOW!!! Who knew??

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