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Meatballs have always been one of them things I hated as a child as, to me, they never tasted of anything, but having children myself now, including a wearing baby, meatballs are a handy item to have in the tin cupboard for a quick after school meal.
I saw the Fray Bentos meatballs for 65p in Iceland and trout I'd try my daughter with them. Upon the decision that she likes them, I began to get them in every other week. Usually, I get gravy ones for her, probably because they're the only ones that Iceland have in. On a rare trip to Morrisons, I saw these bolognese ones and asked if she'd like to try them on which her decision was yes.
I would personally think that they wouldn't taste much different to tomato flavour ones, so initially I had the idea of what's the point, but, I just thought I'd try them. Having read the difference, just in case you think the same, bolognese is a meaty tomato sauce, whereas tomato sauce is, well, tomato!
To make the meatballs is very simple as you can either microwave them in a suitable dish for 3 minutes, stirring halfway though, or, heat on the hob until hot throughout.
The meatballs are the usual brown balls, about an inch in size. The sauce looks very stodgy on opening the tin, but I put this down to being cold in the cupboard. Once microwaved the sauce, of course, became unstodgy, but turned into a very watery sauce. You can also see what is presumed to be bits of herbs for the bolognese. The balls are very hot and steamy, but soon cool down ready to eat.
On tasting the balls, to me they are the typical tasteless lumps of mush. The texture isn't nice. It is processed meat so I wasn't expecting much else. The meat is mushy and breaks down easily in your mouth and has tiny hard pieces throughout like i always remember meatballs had when i was a kid. The meatballs are pork as stated on the tin, but they do not taste like pork. The bolognese sauce, I think, adds the flavour, which is a little bit meaty and tomatoey, not too strong or not too bland, but just the perfect taste for kids without boring them or overpowering them. I think this is the same with all different meatball sauces, it isn't the meatballs that have the taste, it's the sauce they are in.
Another thing which puts me off meatballs is that they go cold very quick, which makes them taste even worse, and isn't good for my Daughter as she enjoys her food hot and once something cools down she doesn't eat it, but in this case, I don't blame her. My kids do enjoy them however, so I would recommend them for children, and adults may like them if you enjoy processed tasteless foods. Kids palates are more sensitive than ours so they must be tasty to them as as they are specifically aimed at kids, enforced by the packaging, then I would recommend them.
A positive about them is that there are a lot of balls in the tin, maybe 20, so there is more than enough for my daughter and the baby. I'd say you would get 3 or 4 children's portions from the tin. The packaging is also good as the tin is bright yellow, and features a fun alien licking it's lips, so this would attract children and catch a child's eye in a supermarket.
The meatballs are available at Morrissons for 75p. There are other flavours available including, tomato, gravy and onion gravy. The price is ideal, and some places offer 2 for a £1 on Fray Bentos meatballs, I know Iceland do, although not all may sell the bolognese ones.
Ever since I was a kid I have loved meatballs, my mam used to cook me them quite often, they really do go with anything, you can have them with mash or chips, or you can just have them in a bowl on their own, which I do quite often now just as a snack, I usually prefer to add a little sprinkle of pepper in it which spices the sauce up a little bit.
It states on the tin that there is no added colours and that there is 141 calories per tin. Fray Bentos seemed to have not moved into the now with the tins, and do not have a pull lid so you do need a tin opener to open these.
When you first pour the contents into a pan it does not look too appealing the bolognese looks really thick and lumpy, but once they have been put on to heat up the sauce starts to thin out and looks really nice. You do need to keep these on heat for a while and keep stirring to make sure all the heat gets into the meatballs, if you do not leave on long enough they will still be cold in the middle.
I have tried other brands of meatballs but I have found these to be the best by far, its just a lovely meaty taste in each ball you have. The taste is pretty hard to describe but if you love your meat then you will like these, there is no bad taste to it at all, but its everyone to their own taste, but I would highly recommend these to at lease try, I do only now buy these when they are on special offer usually 2 for £1 but it is well worth it. The sauce wont be enough to cover a full meal though so you would maybe need a little ketchup or other sauce just to add a little more flavour where this sauce does not reach.
Even though I usually have a proper meal at night sometimes I can't be bothered so just heat myself something up from a tin or cook something out of the freezer. These meatballs are one of my fave quick meals and cook in a few minutes in a saucepan so they're quick and easy too.
You can get them in tomato sauce, gravy or this bolognese one and I think the bolognese is the best of the lot even though they're all dead nice.
The meatballs are quite hard but you can cut through them easy with a fork because they are nice and soft. The meat is nice and salty and the balls are all the same size so they cook even in the saucepan as long as you stir them a few times,.
The sauce does taste like bolognese sauce but it's the sort of sauce you get in tinned bolognese and it's not like a homemade one at all but would you expect it to be?
I think the sauce is quite tomatoey and not spicy enough to be like a proper bolognese but it's thick and rich and goes proper good with the meatballs because themselves they have got quite a bland flavour.
I think a full tin of them is quite filling and good for a snack but when I have them as a meal I have to have a piece of toast with it because otherwise I get quite hungry quickly afterwards. It's like one of them foods that you feel like a kid when you're eating them and that's good sometimes.
They're not the healthiest things to eat and are quite salty and fatty even though they don't take greasy to eat. I reckon the sauce is the saltiest bit of the meal and so I suppose it's not a good thing that when I've eaten all the meatballs I tip the bowl up and drink the sauce!
Now I don't usually like buying things like these meatballs as I'm never to sure what exactly has gone into them, but after the weekend that I have just had I'll buy anything for a piece of peace and quite!
After getting a phone call on Friday morning from Son up in Uni saying that he was at A & E after breaking a toe and that he had his leg in plaster. What could I do but get somethings together so we could drive up early Sunday morning, but oh no! Saturday afternoon elder Son helps hubby in the garden trying to get a bonfire ready for that evening to get rid of all the bushes and trees I had pruned back earlier, when Son falls ackwardly and knocks his knee cap out of place so after an ambulance is called he is taken to A & E to have his leg in plaster from the ankle up to his thigh!! So both sons are on crutches now !!!!
Well whats this got to do with meatballs you might be thinking, well by the time we got back from the hospital this was all my son fancied to eat, so after popping out to Tesco's I got some of these Fray Bentos Meatballs.The problem was once I was in there I wasn't sure what ones he prefered so ended up getting all 3 types (the others being in Tomato Sauce and in Gravy).These are in Bolognese Sauce, the meatballs are round and are big enough to cut in half although I don't know if men would bother and just pop one in at a time! They are made from Pork and seem quite meaty and solid. The sauce has onion and garlic in and a nice tomato taste which is quite thick with a pleasant smell that does resemble a bolognese sauce!
I was quite surprised that the quality did seem good as I thought that the meatballs would maybe be a bit chewy, but they were tender and tasty, so it made a quick easy supper served with a plate of pasta. One tin (410g) would make a nice meal for one adult, but could easily be served as two for children. When emptying this tin into a microwaveable bowl you might have to give is a good shake out as it is a bit thick side as it slides out of the tin, but when heated up it turns into a nice sauce. Now you can heat this on the hob in a saucepan stirring it occasionally, but I chose to pop it into the microwave. This is easy and takes just 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes on Category E 800W. Stand for 1 minute then you can serve with pasta or mash!
Each serving 205g has;
These are very handy to have in the cupboard as I've noticed that the sell by date is Jul 2012 so plenty of time to eat them, the only thing that I don't understand is that the Bolognese cost 73p,with the tomato sauce costing 82p and the gravy ones being the cheapest at 60p they are all in the same size tin?
I did notice on Sunday that Morrisons are doing these 2 for 80p any sauce !!
So not normally something I would buy but I will give this 5 stars as they make a quick meal when needed!!
**** Introduction ****
On Monday evening I was at a loss on what to make for tea, I had been working all day and wanted something very quick and easily, so I would have time to have a nice hot bath and an hour here on dooyoo.
So I popped to Tesco as my partner fancied meatballs and spaghetti, need less to say there were neither of these items in the house.
While looking for meatballs I decided to cut a corner and buy them I a tin, so they would just need warming through and it would just be a case of cooking the pasta.
The meatballs were a Fray Bentos brand that I had never seen before so I thought I would give them a try.
**** The Meatballs ****
I personally think that these meatballs are aimed at children but they certainly brought out the big kid in me, at least until I opened them.
The tin contained eight meatballs which were rather small, the size of a marshmellow and these decreased in size as they were being warmed through.
The meatballs were in a bolognese sauce similar to the sauce that ravioli comes in, so for me the best bit was the sauce as it was very thick and creamy tasting.
The tin cost 74p and weighs 400 grams, of which this is sauce because the meatballs only took up half of the tin.
These can be cooked in a microwave of on the hob, we cooked them on the hob and I think this is where we went wrong as the balls fell apart and turned in to mush, so we basically had sauce and spaghetti for tea.
**** My Views ****
If we had warmed these in the microwave I think the meatballs would have stayed in tact, but I dont think I will be buying them again to be perfectly honest as we didnt really enjoy them, although the sauce was tasty I will buy ravioli next time.
I think that children will love these but as far as adults are concerned they will be extremely disappointed at the price you pay for them.