“ Brand: Iceland / Type: Meat „
PRICE: £1.50 for 375g
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per pack, oven-baked):
(of which sugars): 7.5g
(of which saturates): 10.1g
Water, cooked beef (21%), cream (20%), tapioca, concentrated whey protein, white vinegar, mustard seed, mushrooms, cream powder, modified maize starch, tomato paste, Dijon mustard, brandy, brown sugar, green peppercorns, black pepper, vegetable bouillon, salt, barley malt extract powder, natural colouring, caramel, milk lactose, palm oil, sunflower oil, potato starch, yeast extract, onion powder, leek extract, celery extract, coconut oil, nutmeg extract, turmeric extract, lovage extract
Contains celery, coconut, gluten, milk and mustard
Made in an environment that uses coconut, nuts and sesame
No hydrogenated fats
No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives
No GM ingredients
Beef or steak done with peppercorns is something I love to bits, though I rarely have the time or the inclination to make it for myself. I noticed Iceland Beef In Peppercorn nestling in one of their freezers, so decided to give it a try, being as (with one or two minor exceptions) I find Iceland's own brand of frozen foods quite good.
The product comes in a deep microwaveable, oven-proof plastic tray which is sealed at the top with clear film, and encased in a cardboard sleeve that shows a picture of a serving of the beef dish on the front. The back and one side of the sleeve shows freezing/storage instructions, cooking instructions (microwave or oven bake), nutritional information, ingredients list, Iceland's quality claim with their contact details, allergy/dietary advice and a note to say that the outer cardboard sleeve is recyclable.
Though on the occasion I tried Iceland Beef In Peppercorn I was starving hungry and wanted to eat quickly, I opted for the traditional oven cooking method, as I tend not to like meals very much which have been microwaved. It is important to remember to (as advised on the pack) pierce the film lid several times before placing in the oven, and to stir the product halfway through the cooking time - whichever method of cooking is chosen.
I opted to have my beef dish with mashed potato and steamed green vegetables, and whilst it was heating in the oven, I could detect no smell whatsoever. Once the cooking time was up (45 minutes in a pre-heated hot oven), I lifted the container from the oven and proceeded to try and remove the pierced film covering - something which on certain products, can be quite difficult. To my delight, it removed very easily without me having to attack it with scissors, knives, chainsaws etc.
The sauce was a mid-brown colour, with a fairly generous serving of small strips of beef swimming around, plus a noticeably generous serving of green peppercorns. The sauce was quite thin and rather copious, creamy-looking, and I could smell a nice beefy aroma once the film had been removed.
Though there was plenty of beef and I don't have any complaint at all about the size of the serving, I felt that there was too much sauce and that sauce was also on the thin side, but I went ahead and tipped the full portion onto my plate with the accompanying potatoes and vegetables.
The sauce did rather swamp the rest of the meal appearance-wise, and I had to be careful so that it didn't spill over the edges of the plate onto the tray.
On performing the taste test, I was pleased that the sauce was nice and peppery - the peppercorns being tender - sending a nice zingy hotness over my tongue and through my mouth as I chewed on them. I could taste the cream in the sauce too - and as far as flavour is concerned, I was very impressed. The beef strips were quite plentiful, very lean and tender, therefore requiring very little chewing.
The beef in the peppercorn sauce blended perfectly with the mashed potato and green vegetables, and when I'd finished the whole lot, I was thoroughly satisfied that I'd eaten a very tasty, filling and substantial meal. I even licked the plate, which is a thing I am prone to doing as a sign of deep enjoyment of what I've eaten.
I was a little sorry that I hadn't bought more than one pack, as this is something I'd truly like to eat more often.
It's high in protein - OK it's high in fat too, but I feel that's to be expected of a ready-meal which is essentially made of red meat, and contains cream. Also, at £1.50 for a very generous portion, I feel it is a very economical bargain, and somewhat of a treat too. Even with my bottomless pit style stomach, I'd go as far as to say that the whole serving could easily feed two adults with normal appetites, and that is excellent value in that only 75p per person is then spent in order to enjoy a meal which has a special touch to it.
To make a similar dish yourself, would involve far greater expense, and I'd certainly recommend trying Iceland Beef In Peppercorn possibly even above homemade, especially if you are watching the pennies.
The only tiny little gripe I had was that for me, I'd have liked to see a little less sauce, and for it to be a bit thicker - but that certainly won't put me off buying this over and over again. Despite the quantity of sauce and it being rather thin, this product still gets a full-house of stars from me, as the whole thing is truly delicious.
Well done Iceland - it's as good as homemade, without the expense and effort.
Thanks for reading!