I’d like to clear up a misconception that some readers have. Number one, I’m still not Jim Rawles; many readers just refuse to understand this. I am who I say I am, and you can Google my name if you’d like. Secondly, neither Jim Rawles nor Hugh Latimer have ever once demanded that I write an article on any product or, for that matter, ever asked me to not write about any product. Third, I am not an employee of SurvivalBlog. I am an independent journalist. I write articles for SurvivalBlog, and if Mr. Rawles or Mr. Latimer like my articles then they accept them and I send them an invoice for my work. So, I’m not under the control of anyone. I’m a freelance writer, and Jim and Hugh kindly awarded me the title of Senior Product Review Editor, which was very nice of them.
So, when you are reading one of my articles, it is my words, the article was submitted by me, and no one associated with SurvivalBlog asked or demanded I review the products. With that said, I sometimes see a new product being advertised on SurvivalBlog that catches my attention and I request a sample to test for the readers. Other times, perhaps Jim or Hugh will alert me to a new product or advertiser and I take it upon myself to test their product. I’m sincerely appreciative that they keep me alerted to some products I might have otherwise not paid any attention to.
Some time back, Hugh Latimer told me about Wertz’s Farm Market canned meats, and it caught my attention. Now, understand this; this is not freeze-dried or dehydrated meats or meat substitutes. It is genuine 100% meat– pork and beef products that are shredded and cooked and canned, and it has a 15 year shelf life. You have to do nothing, except open the can and eat it as-is or use it in some other dishes. This is federally inspected meats, and it can be shipped across state lines.
The Wertz Family has been raising beef and other products on their farm since 1852. Yes, you read that correctly; I said 1852! Since 2002, they stopped using hormones and all other drugs on their calves to raise only drug-free beef! Some of the beef cuts they sell consist of porter house, t-bones, rib steaks, rolled rump roast, ground round, sirloin, and ground beef patties. Their pork cuts are whole hog sausage, smoked pork chops, bacon, hams, kielbasa, polish sausage, smoked sausage, Cajun sausage, and baby pig links.
I know a little bit about beef. When I was a teenager, I used to work after school in my uncle’s janitorial business, and part of what he did was clean meat packing houses in the Chicago area. To be sure, they had contracts with many of the major meat packing houses, and I worked in many of them. This took place after business hours, and we had to clean the meat-cutting rooms and stainless steel cutting tables, plus the floors and walls. Many of the meat packing houses would leave us some cooked meat to eat; it was outstanding. So, I’ve had more than my fair share of beef products, fresh from the meat packing houses.
Don Wertz was kind enough to send me some of their shredded beef and shredded pork, canned and fully-cooked, to sample and do a possible article on for SurvivalBlog readers. My mother-in-law, who passed some years ago, used to can beef fresh from her farm and give to my wife and me. It was the most tender beef you’d ever eat. It was in big chunks in glass canning jars, and you could pull it apart with a fork; no knife was needed, ever! It made great beef stew and a savory gravy to put over mashed spuds. The moment I opened the Wertz’s canned beef, the aroma of my mother-in-law’s canned beef can rushing into my mind. Yum!
We used to raise and train German Shepherds. I gave it up some years back because it was a lot of work, but we still have three German Shepherds in our home. They all were going absolutely crazy from the aroma of the canned beef. I drained off the little bit of juices from the beef and set it aside, and it made a welcome addition to their dried kibble meals. They surely gobbled it down and were looking for more. To be sure, it only took a tablespoon of the juices over their kibble to make it disappear in short order.
I do a lot of to cooking around our homestead, because my wife still works full-time and I’m home. However, I always try to find as many “heat n’ eat” meals as possible, because I don’t like spending a lot of time in the kitchen. While I do have some really great dishes I cook, they take quite a bit of time and clean-up, and I prefer something that is really quick to prepare with an easy clean up but is still tickles the taste palate!
After opening the Wertz’s shredded beef, I thought about making some Mexican dish, but I didn’t want to start mixing too many ingredients, so I went with some pulled beef sandwiches. I just added some of my favorite BBQ sauce, mixed it in the bowl with the beef, and tossed it in the microwave oven to heat it up. Five minutes later, my wife, our oldest daughter, and I were enjoying the most tender BBQ pulled beef sandwiches we’d ever eaten. Add in some chips or whatever your favorite side dish is, and that is good eating, if you ask me. Or course, all the dogs were sitting around the table, like they always do, hoping for a taste of whatever we were eating. They all got a small taste of the BBQ beef sandwiches, too; we treat our dogs too well.
I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the canned pork, but I wanted a quick meal. During a SHTF scenario, you might not want to spend a lot of time cooking or using your precious propane stove and propane supplies. I love Mexican food, and I’m a fair hand at preparing many of our favorite dishes. One is a Chipotle burrito. I have a secret Chipotle sauce ingredient that I pried out of the hands of the fellow who used to manage and cook at our favorite Mexican restaurant before it was sold and he moved on. It only takes a few minutes to prepare, and we keep a good supply of it mixed and ready to go in the refrigerator. So, I heated up the canned pork, added it on tortillas, rolled it together, and heated up my Chipotle sauce. It, took a few minutes to grill some onions and mushrooms. Then, I added the onions and mushrooms over the top of the rolled burrito, and poured the Chipotle sauce over the entire thing, tossed it in the microwave with some grated American cheese over it so it would melt, and it was ready. The total prep and cooking time was less than 10 minutes, and it was as good as any Chipotle burrito we’ve ever had.
You can use shredded beef, chunked beef, sliced chicken, pork, or any kind of meat you want for this burrito, with the magic Chipotle sauce over the top of it all. We are talking eating as good as it gets, and it all takes but a few minutes to prepare. The Wertz’s canned pork made it just that much easier to prepare and eat.
There are any number of places selling freeze-dried or dehydrated meats, and they are pretty good, once you get them re-hydrated. Then, there are the TVP Textured Vegetable Protein canned “meat” substitutes. We have a lot, and I mean a lot of this TVP in our survival food supply. For me, I have to let it “cook” for a long time on the stove, or it gives me a lot of gas. While it tastes okay, don’t kid yourself; it is not the same taste as genuine meat. Still, it’s better than nothing, right?
If you want genuine meat in your survival food supplies that has a long shelf-life, you really need to check out the Wertz canned meats. It is ready to go right out of the can, and it tastes delicious. You can use it in some of your own recipes. I think you’ll be as impressed as I was with the canned samples I tested for our readers. Check out the Wertz website for their full menu of canned meats. You are getting a lot of meat for the money, and it is prime cut meats, not end or leftover cuts. Be sure to add some to your stockpile!
– Senior Product Review Editor, Pat Cascio