I am a recent convert to Iceland but have been a bit concerned about the levels of salt and saturated fat in some of their ready meals. This beef in gravy while being convenient isn't a ready meal and only has 2g of saturated fat in and noticeably less salt than whole meal options. I enjoy cooking side veg so this type of product fits into my needs nicely.
Each packet is 200g and intended to be a one person serving. A box cost me 89p but I think it has just gone up to £1. Either way it is cheap. Inside is a thick plastic bag containing the meat and gravy together in one. Cooking instructions are given for on the hob cooking and for the microwave. I have used both ways. Microwave is 6 minutes, a bit less than on the hob. You pierce the packet a few times and cook it on a plate, then leave to stand one minute, shaking it before serving. That is you do all this if following the instructions. Big mistake! The gravy bubbles out everywhere and will burn partially on to the plate. It is better cooked in a suitable dish. Shaking the product a minute after it comes out of the micro is impossible without burning yourself. Hob cooking also needs care. The packet needs picking out of the water with firm tongs. The meat is more tender cooked this way anyway.
However you cook the product getting it out of the tough plastic bag is messy and difficult. It is a shame because the gravy is beefy and tasty and the meat good. On taste grounds I do recommend it but not to anyone who is in too much of a rush because of the mess produced.
In the past I have bought products similar to this; frozen roast beef dinners etc and usually they have been ok. Unfortunately I had a problem for a few days with the electric switch to my cooker so did not have the use of my cooker for 3 days!! I had no choice but to have microwave meals. I bought this sliced beef in gravy for my son; he likes Beef; I thought this would be ok with a jacket potato and sweet corn. My son was not impressed and neither was I. He ate about ¾ of it, but did not like the taste/nor the gravy very much. I decided to eat a bit of what he had left to see what it was like. I too was not keen on the gravy; it tasted a bit bitter to me and there was not much sliced beef. I knew that the sliced beef would be very thin, but the amount was not adequate. It also didn't taste very nice; very processed. I would estimate there as about 3 very thin small slices of beef with plenty of gravy.
Of course you cannot expect great quality beef at such a low price (£1.00 per 200g box); but I expected it to taste better than what it did. Apparently this is supposed to be 'a new and improved recipe'! If this is the improved recipe, I wouldn't like to think hat the old one tasted like!
Needless to say, I will not be buying this again; yes, its cheap, but even if things are cheap, there is no point buying it, if it doesn't taste nice!
This can either be cooked on the hob or microwave. It takes 30 minutes if you cook it on the hob and only 6 minutes if you cook it in the microwave.
Gravy (78%), Beef (24%)
Gravy contains water, Beef, Beef boullion (Beef, Beef extract, Beef fat, Cornflour, Salt, Sugar, Concentrated Tomato juice, Concentrated Onion juice), Modified Maize starch, Sugar, Tomato puree, Salt, Colour (Plain caramel), Barley Malt extract (Gluten), White pepper
**Allergy Advice; Contains Gluten; may contain peanuts, nuts and sesame.**
Each pack contains 162 kcals
In my opinion, even though its cheap, its not worth buying this product, because the taste is not very nice; its 2 Dooyoo stars from me.
~~Review of Iceland Sliced Beef in Gravy~~
Although I am a vegetarian, my partner eats meat and as it is too costly in my opinion to buy and cook a joint of meat for one person, I often buy frozen roast meats for him. I usually purchase those produced by the well known company, Bird's Eye, but having spotted the Iceland version at a considerably lower price, decided to give it a try.
What is it?
A frozen portion of sliced cooked beef in a rich gravy. The package consists of a pouch of 200g meat in gravy, which can be boiled in the bag or cooked in a microwave. The product is produced and packed in the UK for Iceland Foods Ltd.
An oblong recyclable cardboard box bearing a picture of sliced beef on a plate, covered in gravy. The box is predominately blue in colour with the Iceland logo written vertically down a red flash on the left hand side, the description and price flash to the right.
** Storage and Cooking instructions**
This product should be stored in a freezer and not be re-frozen after thawing.
Cook from frozen using one of the following methods.
To Boil in the bag:
Remove outer packaging. Place the unopened bag in a saucepan of boiling water and simmer for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not allow pan to boil dry. To serve, remove bag carefully and slit along the top of the bag with scissors.
Remove outer packaging and pierce the bag several times and place on a microwaveable plate. Microwave for 6 minutes on full power for an 800w machine, or 7 minutes for a 650w microwave, allow to stand for a further 2 minutes before shaking the bag gently and carefully slitting open the top of the bag with scissors and serving.
I used the microwave method and found it very easy and efficient.
**Nutritional values and allergy advice**
Per 200g pack.
Carbohydrate: 11.8g (- of which sugars: 2.0g )_
Fat: 3.1g (- of which saturates: 1.1g )
This product is produced using no artificial colourings, flavours or preservatives, no hydrogenated fats or GM ingredients.
The product contains gluten and is made in a production area that uses coconut, should consumers be sensitive to these items.
Water, modified maize starch, beef stock, yeast extract, natural flavouring, plain caramel, concentrated onion juice, ground bay, ground black pepper, palm fat, sugar, tomato powder, barley malt extract, beef, textured pea protein, rice flour, salt, diphosphates, triphosphates.
Iceland Stores Ltd offer a money back guarantee should consumers be dissatisfied with any of their products.
Iceland Stores Ltd
Customer service:- 0800 3280800
The meat cooked perfectly by the microwave method and even though I am as I have said, a vegetarian, I have to admit that it smelled very good as it was served. The pouch was easier to open than the premium brand I usually buy and the slices of beef slid out onto the plate without breaking. I was impressed by the quantity of beef contained in this ready meal, around eight good sized slices of meat and a fairly thick meaty smelling gravy. There was no visible fat and the meat was sliced quite thinly. My partner ate it with roast potatoes, cabbage, carrots and two individual sized Yorkshire puds. The meat was beautifully tender and unlike other boil in the bag 'roasts' , he found that the gravy was not too salty or spicy for his palate.
Now, I don't know how many people Iceland actually intended this meat to serve and I can see nothing on the packaging to indicate this, but what I can say is that there was more than adequate for my partner's somewhat hearty appetite! For a £1 meal, it represents wonderful value for money. I am sure the meat would serve two people comfortably or even two adults and a child if you bulked it out with extra vegetables. Of course, individual appetites vary and this is only my opinion, others may eat more or less than my partner does!
Jamie enjoyed his 'roast' and asked me to buy it again, which in our household is high praise indeed! He said that it was full of flavour and one of the nicest frozen roast meat meals he's tried.
If I had to make any negative comment about this meal, it would have to be that the slices of meat could have been a little thicker. That said, this is a real bargain and I am being a little picky by commenting on this.
Overall I found this to be an excellent value product at only £1 and one which I will definitely buy again.
Thanks for reading.
©brittle1906 July 2009
Price: £1 for 200g which I believe is intended to be a single serving
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per pack):
- of which sugars: 2.0g
- of which saturates: 1.1g
Water, modified maize starch, beef stock, yeast extract, natural flavouring, plain caramel, concentrated onion juice, ground bay, ground black pepper, palm fat, sugar, tomato powder, barley malt extract, beef, textured pea protein, rice flour, salt, diphosphates, triphosphates
RATIO: Gravy = 63%, Beef = 37%
Made in a production area which uses coconut
No hydrogenated fats
No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives
No GM ingredients
Ever on the hunt for different brands of boil-in-the-bag sliced roast meats, I love to try as many as I can, so I can then stick with what I find tastes best. I live alone, and to cook a small joint of meat from fresh isn't practical or economical, nor am I the world's best at roasting meat.
Having enjoyed Iceland's Sliced Lamb In Minted Gravy (which I have reviewed previously on DooYoo), I thought I'd give their roast beef a try.
Iceland Sliced Beef In Gravy is in a blue and orange box, with an image of a plate of roast beef on both the front and rear. The sides of the box show nutritional information, ingredients, allergy advice, freezing & cooking instructions, and Iceland's contact details together with their quality claim.
You can either pierce a couple of slits in the bag and cook from frozen in the microwave (full power for 4 minutes, then turn and whizz for another 4) or boil in the bag. I prefer the boil-in-the-bag method, as it's a fuel-saving exercise for me if I put the bag of meat in the bottom of my tiered vegetable steamer, then cook the vegetables on the top tier.
Inside the box, the meat is surrounded by gravy, and has the appearance of a solid ice lolly resting in a clear plastic bag. If cooking by the boil-in-the-bag method, the plastic bag needs to be kept completely sealed.
On this particular occasion, I had a couple of roast potatoes, sprouts, carrots, peas and a couple of slim spears of broccoli. I also had what turned out to be the best Yorkshire pudding I've ever made in my life.
Once the meal was ready, I served the potatoes and vegetables on my plate, then grappled with a pair of tongs and scissors to open the very hot plastic bag containing the beef and gravy. The bag was quite easy to cut through, and I slid the beef slices onto my plate, pouring the gravy over it and everything else.
The slices of beef were quite thin, but there were about 8 of them in all. There was no fat or gristle on the meat at all, which pleased me as that's one of my pet hates, and the gravy had a rather nice, meaty/tomatoey smell. The whole meal looked very appetizing, so I settled to have a good scoff, deciding to try the meat first.
I'd guess that Iceland intend this pack of frozen beef in gravy to serve two adults, but as you've probably all gathered by now, I have a large appetite and am very greedy, so I had the lot. My own estimate of the portion is that it would probably be too small as a double serving for most people's appetites, though would be fine to serve 2 children, or just about be adequate for 2 adults who have incredibly small appetites.
I raised my fork to my mouth containing part of a slice of beef, which my knife had slid through easily, as if it was soft butter. The aroma the meat gave off was pleasant, and once in my mouth, I began to chew. The overall flavour of the beef was very very good, and it was extremely tender, to the point where I hardly had to chew it at all.
The gravy tasted very nice - possibly a little thinner than I like it, but I didn't consider that to be the end of the world - and there was a faint hint of tomato flavour present, but not so much that it made the gravy taste as it shouldn't. Some of the gravy had gone onto the potatoes and vegetables, and I found that it enhanced their flavour rather than ruined it.
Once I'd finished the whole meal, and declared it thoroughly enjoyed, I concluded that I definitely will buy Iceland Sliced Beef In Gravy on a regular basis. The price of £1 is extremely reasonable for such a good quality product, and in itself is far cheaper than if I'd have bought a little joint of meat or a steak, or a couple of little chops, and this is a very, very economical way of enjoying a lovely roast dinner.
The only thing I would have preferred, as said above, was that the gravy be just a tiny bit thicker - but it was so tasty, I'm prepared to overlook that altogether.
Very well done Iceland, for creating a beautiful piece of beef for single (or lazy) people to enjoy a roast dinner with - or, of course, those on a low income who fancy a nice bit of beef.
Thanks for reading!