“ Brand: Iceland / Type: Meat „
COST: £2 for a 300g pack
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per half pack):
- of which saturates: 4g
Lamb, water, sugar, modified maize starch, wheat flour, yeast extract, milk lactose, salt, tomato powder, mint, barley malt extract, paprika, paprika extract, guar guar gum
Contains gluten and milk
Made in a production area where no nuts are present
As said in one of my recent articles, just before Christmas I paid a trip to my nearest Iceland, and was rather impressed with their offerings - at least appearance-wise.
I had to buy a new fridge when my old one died on me, and the new freezer compartment is a little bigger than I had before, so I thought (in addition to the chocolate/orange profiteroles!) I'd have a mooch around and see what else I could buy, to stock up my lovely new freezer with.
I bypassed the section in Iceland where the frozen joints of meat are kept, as to buy a whole piece of meat and cook it from scratch is a false economy for me - as I only have myself to feed. I am rather partial to boil-in-the-bag meat, plus I adore roast dinners, and as I continued to wander, I noticed Iceland's own brand of frozen ready-cooked meat in gravy. There was turkey, lamb, chicken, beef and pork to choose from, and I was impressed by the price of £2 for a "serves two people" pack for the lamb.....so, into my trolley it sailed, accompanying me home, then being laid to rest in my freezer until needed.
I am currently going through a roast dinner phase, because after 30-odd years of cooking and preparing meals, I have only recently learned the art (by accident!) of cooking amazingly crispy roast potatoes without having to resort to coating them with flour or semolina first - so, I have been eating roasts pretty much every day since Xmas Day. Yesterday it was Iceland's Sliced Lamb Leg In Gravy's turn.
Iceland's Slice Lamb Leg In Gravy comes in a flattish box which judging from the outside and its size, promises a very generous portion of meat. The front of the box is mostly green, bearing the standard Iceland logo as a strip down the left-hand side. There is a little very basic nutritional information table at the bottom left of the box, and in the middle is an image of a white plate showing a most delicious-looking dinner of roast lamb slices in minty gravy, with minted boiled potatoes and a mix of peas and sweetcorn. A garish bright yellow price sticker hovers over the top corner of the dinner image, and the words "Sliced Lamb Leg" appear across the top of the box in large white letters. Just underneath, in smaller pale green letters are the words "in gravy", followed by even smaller letters (in white) saying "sliced lamb in a rich mint gravy".
The back of the box is an exact replica of the front, and the sides give nutritional information, ingredients, dietary advice, manufacturer's contact details, cooking instructions (conventional oven only) and advice that the packaging is recyclable.
Inside the box is a foil tray containing the frozen lamb slices, covered with a cardboard lid. It is advised not to loosen or remove the lid during the cooking process, but ever the rebel, I did loosen it slightly - as far as I can tell, my act of defiance didn't deteriorate the product any way whilst it was cooking.
The lamb takes 45 minutes to cook in a pre-heated non-fan assisted oven (40 minutes in fan assisted). The oven temperature should be 200C/gas mark 6/400F. During the cooking process, a lovely and slightly minty smell of roast lamb permeated the air, and my stomach began to rumble. It is advised on the packet to let the pack of lamb stand for a minute once it's removed from the oven - I did obey this instruction - and during that minute, I served the rest of the dinner (potatoes/vegetables) onto my plate.
On removing the cardboard lid from the foil container, I was greeted with a large portion - approximately 8 circular slices (measuring around 5" from one side to the other) of delicious looking lamb, resting in a lovely minty smelling gravy. Rather too much for one person (well, the pack is intended to serve two), but bear in mind I am a glutton - I had the whole portion, but it was a little too much even for me. The only thing which didn't put me off exactly, but I felt could have looked better was that the gravy seemed thinner than I personally like it.
I munched my way through the roast dinner, and have to say that the lamb was absolutely delicious - tender, lean and succulent, and the gravy (yes it did turn out to be a little too thin) had a delicate mint flavour. Despite the 8 thin slices being too much for me, I still ate them and wouldn't say that I had to force them down exactly.
This truly was a delightful roast dinner to eat. It was almost as if I'd have cooked and carved the lamb myself, though I'm not an expert with the carving knife and there's no way I'd ever have been able to cut such even and neat slices. The ratio of lamb to gravy was just right, and once I'd begun to dip my sprouts, carrots and potatoes into the gravy, I didn't mind so much that it was on the thin side, as it was so very tasty.
The only other thing I'd draw attention to (and this is a personal thing - it wouldn't be a problem for everyone) aside from the thin gravy, is that each slice of lamb had a tiny ring of fat around the edge. I loathe fat, and had to cut it all off before I began to eat - but those who don't mind a little fat on their meat would probably eat it, enjoy it, and not be bothered by it.
I am definitely giving the thumbs up sign to Iceland for this truly delicious roast lamb in minty gravy, and the next time I'm in there, I'm going to buy a few packets to stash away for posterity.
No good if you like to save cold meat from a joint to have cold later or the next day - but then I suppose that's not the idea of a ready-made roast meat in gravy product.
Overall opinion: Delicious, tender, lean (apart from the line of fat around the edges) and succulent lamb in a thin, but very tasty mint gravy. An absolute bargain for £2, and no nasties in the ingredients list. If you think....the pack is meant to serve two people, so if you are normal (unlike me) and buy one pack for yourself and one other person, that is just £1 per person for the protein content of a meal. This meat meal is also comparably (to some other frozen meats in gravy) low in calories and overall fat content, plus it's a very good source of protein.
Thanks for reading, and 10/10 to Iceland!