“ Brand: Marks & Spencer / Quality steak. „
Lean and tender, chunky steak in a can from Marks & Spencer. Mmm mmm.
Want your pie filling? Look no further.
The tasty bit
This thoroughly tasty rich beef in gravy is perfect for pie fillings or serving with potatoes, mashed or roast. The steak chunks are soft in texture and melt in the mouth. They fall apart and are extremely tender and succulent. The beefy gravy is thick, full of flavour and plentiful. Together the steak chunks and gravy give the right balance to stay moist whilst cooking in a pie. The aroma reminds me of traditional, home cooked food. If you heat up the steak in a saucepan then you will find it hard to resist licking the spoon often.
The chunky steak comes in a 400g can which is recommended to serve two. The calorie and sugar content are highlighted in green so are low in correspondence to guideline daily amounts. The fat, saturated fat and salt are highlighted in amber so are medium. The ingredients begin with 75% beef followed by water, potato starch, wheat flour and flavourings such as tomato puree and white wine vinegar. The product contains wheat and gluten. The product claims to be a healthy option containing less than 5% fat. For a can you would expect to pay around £2:49 but a lot of the time, Marks & Spencer put it on promotion where you can get two cans for £4. Obviously, if you are making a pie then you will need to bear in mind the added cost which would take the price well above the average ready-made steak pie. However, this pie will be deeply filled and delicious.
The can has a ring pull for easier access. It is widely recyclable and is made using 16% recycled steel so you can feel that you are doing your part to help the environment. Bonus.
I bought a tin of this meat from M&S yesterday. It comes in 2 sizes i went for the small size 220g. The tin displays a picture on the front of the actual meat itself on a plate with what looks like mash and broccoli. The label is in a kind of browny colour perhaps to resemble the colour of the meat itself. The tin is a ring pull so you can easily open it up and get to the contents inside. The rest of the label contains details on the nutritional value of the meat, cooking directions and of course ingredients. I wont bore you with all the list of ingredients but will just say that it contains 75% beef. The meat itself comes from Brazil. This size tin serves 1 and the tin itself is recyclable.
Ok onto the meat itself. once opened the meat inside the tin is in a rich thick gravy but i must admit when you take it out of the tin in its cold state it does not look very appetising. Almost like a can of dog food in fact, however if you can get past its initial appearance you will be in for a treat because no dog food ever tasted like this. (well not that i have ever eaten dog food, but i`m guessing). The meat and gravy can be very simply and quickly prepared by heating it up for 2 - 2.5 minutes in the microwave. Once out of the microwave it is transformed from its earlier appearance. The meat itself is lean and tender and the thick rich gravy is really tasty and means that you dont need to mess around preparing your own to go with it. This meat is fine to eat on a plate with some veg and potato/mash etc, but it is also ideal as a pie filling if you want to make your own pastry, in fact thats exactly what i often do, and i can heartily recommend it.
Welcome to my review on Chunky Steak made by Marks & Spencer. I've chosen to do this review as this is a lovely filling food that is amazingly less than 2% fat making it a great food source for those dieters out there reading this!
As you may know I am no dieter, being less than seven stones in weight and so you may be thinking to your lovely self 'What on earth is she doing eating this kind of thing ' ? Ill tell you exactly why as I go on and describe to you each of the yummy advantages it has over other available brands of products none too dissimilar in what they proclaim to this one in particular.
** What does the packaging look like?
The packaging - here I refer to the label - is as you would expect from Marks and Spencer, very luxurious in appearance. Rather than the dull matt finish you would usually see on most food labels, this label has a lovely looking glossy finish to it.
Having removed the label from the actual tin, I can clearly see that the base colouring is that of an extremely deep brown colouring and Id expect that you'd be forgiven for thinking it is black as, well , it possibly is . who knows with my eye sight !
The front of the label is very simply but effectively adorned with a short but ample descriptive piece accompanied by the usual image that is always related to the product.
Just beneath the edging of the label we have the classic logo associated with the store, an example of this can be located within the images I have provided. The logo is central to the front area of the label and is capital lettering approximately a centimetre tall.
Directly underneath the logo, approximately half a centimetre down, we have the words' chunky steak ' in a central position in small lettering standing at around 0.7 cm in height.
Just a couple of millimetres down from here we have the main descriptive text in small lettering of about 5 millimetres high. This says ' lean and tender beef in rich gravy '
To the left of this there's a grass green upturned triangle with a white slim rectangle going across ways just above the tip of the triangle. The triangle itself has the words ' less than 2% ' within and the rectangle has the word 'fat ' all in capital lettering.
This triangle is a well known and common sign to shoppers of the store who are concerned about the fat content of products on sale there.
And finally, from the bottom edge upwards, finishing around 0.5 cm from the main description we see a vision which is, to me, good enough to eat! There are two male and beautifully manicured hands holding a whiter than white platter which is delectably adorned with a triangular shaped portion of chunky steak pie with a golden puff pastry topping alongside a serving of green beans. The platter is resting delicately on a white napkin and in turn on a beech table. There's also a set of salt and pepper cellars to the right of the platter in silver which are I'm sure there only to set the tone. Also, one would have to assume that this pie was created using Marks and Spencer Chunky Steak and that the picture is simply a serving suggestion.
The weight of this product - 220g - is clearly stated in the bottom right hand corner of the image. All text is in the colour white and very complimentary to the dark base colouring.
To the rear of the label ,spanning the entire top half , there are clear and concise cooking, care and storage instructions, all of which I have included further on in this review.
On the bottom half there are several pieces of information such as the ingredients, barcode, nutritional values, the country of origin - Brasil - and the nutritional guidelines showing the daily amounts of fat, salt and calories recommended by professionals for Men and Women amongst others, all of which are clarified further into my review. The text is written entirely in black upon a white background.
The tin itself is made of recyclable steel and is relatively easy to open. It does not have a ring pull and so a tin opener is required. I must admit I would have expected a ring pull to be on all Marks and Spencer tinned products, especially so on this one purely because I think I well and truly paid for the privilege of one!
** And the appearance of the chunky steak itself?
I have to admit that I personally do not find the appearance of this attractive in the least. Obviously this being a meat product in a meaty gravy and cold too, the fat has a very gelatinous and very orange hue to it. In fact I've often said that dog food looks much more appealing at this stage !
If you can manage to avoid putting yourself off at this point, the outcome once the product is heated right through is one that shall not disappoint at all ..
Once the fat content of the product has melted down and incorporated back into the gravy, it becomes a slightly thickened sea of medium brown which is extremely appetising to the eye. It also sports a lovely sheen right across while the steak seems to adopt a glorious deep brown but rouge colouring indicating that it is cooked to medium rather than well done or rare state. The chunks of steak average around 1.5 cm cubed in size which Id typically call bite sized.
All in all, Id hazard a guess that I could put this on anyone's dinner table and proclaim it to be of my own making unless the diners were avid marks and Spencer fans of course !
It really doesn't have that straight out of a tin appearance.
** Well . Is it yummy?
In a nutshell, yes it is.
It certainly tastes as good as it looks. The gravy is beautifully rich and velvet like in texture when in contact with the tongue. If I was that way inclined I would say that it was of such high quality that it was good enough to drink from a bottle. What I would suggest , however, is that Marks and Spencer should produce this gravy in jars as a stand alone product as I for one would buy it by the shed load to shovel on my Marks and Spencer chips !
The steak is exquisite, it really is. When you attempt to cut open a piece it pips you to the post . seemingly falling apart at the sight of a knife. The tenderness is very evident upon initial contact.
Looking at the inside the steak, the colouring is different again to those described earlier when assessing the appearance alone, it now takes on a more lighter shade of pink thus confirming my thoughts as to what stage the meat was cooked, based merely upon appearance alone.
When tasting the meat for the first time I was sincerely overwhelmed !
It literally does fall apart into what feels like a million pieces and there's no sign at all of any obvious fatty areas and nor can you taste any.
As you tuck into this and the steak continues to fall apart, you are slowly being left with gravy that is now full of thin slithers of steak running through. By the time your half way the gravy will have become a lovely and much thickened meaty mass of pure rich and explosive taste. It will have also at this point have become good enough to shovel down by the bucket load never mind the spoonful !
I must describe the aromas that emanate from this for you ..
I can detect the faint smell of onions though there are no actual pieces of onion in this at all. The smell that takes precedence over all others is a very meaty yet slightly peppery one. Though, I cannot taste the pepper coming through. I can't say anything that would compliment this description any further apart from it smells as fabulous as it tastes !
** And opinions overall ?
I'm sure that I dont need to state the obvious though I am certainly going to do so . this product is one of the best available at Marks and Spencer in tinned form.
I know that most people are of the opinion that Marks and Spencer is an expensive shop overall, which in comparison to other stores selling similar products, it probably is. To me personally, I do believe that the quality of this version of chunky steak in gravy far super cedes any other I have ever had the pleasure to try and I would never revert back to my previous choice having now tasted what I believe to be the best.
The 220g tin is ample size for someone with a small appetite like me though there is also a larger 440g tin which would be ideal for those with large appetites - both are great with a big dollop of home made Maris Piper mashed potato - very homely indeed !
Going back to the expense, with other versions of this product I would have wasted more than Id have eaten due to discarding the fatty parts and so to me if I manage to eat the whole tin it is worth every penny.
I basically think you should give it a go !
** What's the nitty gritty ?
Now I realise that there are some who think its crap to list ingredients but I like to know whats in my food so here it is in all its glory !!
~~ Ingredients ~~
This product does contain Wheat and Gluten.
~~ Cooking advice ~~
Saucepan: Heat slowly over a low heat stirring gently from time to time.
Microwave: place contents into a suitable microwaveable container and cover. Place in microwave oven and heat on high ( 100% ) stirring half way through the cooking time. The following times are guidelines only
Cat B ( 650 w ) 3 minutes
Cat D ( 750 w ) 2 ½ minutes
Check that the product is hot before serving.
~~ Nutrition ~~
The typical values are per 100g.
Energy: 415kj / 100 kcal
Carbohydrate: 3.1g of which .
Fat: 2.0g of which .
Equivalent as salt: 0.7g
The label also gives the following information on guidelines recommended by professionals on the daily amounts of calories, fat and salt for both men and women:
Per 220g can Woman Man
Calories 220 2000 2500
Fat g 4.4 70 95
Salt g 1.5 5 7
~~ Origins of Product ~~
This product is made in Brazil and packed under Brazilian Government inspection.
~~ Best before Date ~~
This can be located on the bottom end of the actual can as opposed to the label.
** Need more information ?
Marks and Spencer Plc are contactable at the following address:
Marks and Spencer Plc
And more information can be located on their website www.marksandspencer.com
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to read my review. Let me know what you think if you do try this product !
All comments are appreciated - negative or positive !
Thanks Once again !
Love and hugs as always !