Do-it-yourself meat meals for men

There’s just time for me to pay a quick visit to 1970 before I’m back jellying a salad in the 1940s. Here’s a fabulous ‘recipe’ from Woman’s Weekly magazine of 5 September 1970. Before you think that some cookery is involved in the ‘do-it-yourself’ meat meals for men, let me tell you that it isn’t.

Fray Bentos 1970 - Do-it-yourself meat meals for men
Fray Bentos 1970 – Do-it-yourself meat meals for men

Here are the classic instructions for a 1970s man:

“Pierce hole in lid of can. Stand in boiling water, simmer 45 mins.”

Fray Bentos Steak and Kidney Pie 1970
How different lives are now with microwaves! This advert was meant to show how much time and money could be saved:

“Let the man in your life try his hand at them.”

I love the implicit assumption that it’s the woman’s place to cook and that she might want to occasionally have some help and the best that she can expect is for the man in her life to boil a can! Thank goodness it’s different now. Hold on… is it?

Fray Bentos is still alive and well in 2015. For a start it’s actually a city in Uruguay, where the main industry, unsurprisingly, is meat processing. It’s also still a food brand, part of Premier Foods and they still produce Steak and Kidney Puddings. Here’s one. It costs £2.19 from Tesco.

Fray Bentos Steak and Kidney Pudding
Fray Bentos Steak and Kidney Pudding

Cooking Guidelines:
Microwave (From Ambient):
1. Open
Open using ringpull and remove lid.
2. Cook
Turn upside down onto a microwaveable plate and cook on full power for 3 minutes.
3. Enjoy
Leave to stand for 30 seconds, carefully remove bowl and tuck in.
Based on a 750W microwave. All microwave ovens vary and heating instructions should be used as a guide only.


Ready in 3 minutes. Leaving it to stand for another 30 seconds seems intolerable nowadays – even if it does stop you getting cancer. Who can stand to wait 30 seconds for something to be ready now?

Perfectly positioned just opposite the full page Fray Bentos advert is this advert:

Advertisement - Bran Buds
Advertisement – Bran Buds

“She has been more than pleased with the results up to now.”

and

“Provides the roughage so often missing from modern diets…”

It’s good to see that Fray Bentos are still saving you time and money 45 years later – as long as you don’t include the additional costs of the laxatives, that is.

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