“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Meat „
There's nothing better us Brits love more than a good old Sunday Roast. And in all honesty, I am no exception! There's something ever so homely and delicious about roasted meat, veg and gravy! Just the though is enough to get your saliva glands working overtime. Atleast that was my experience of an average sunday dinner before putting this beef joint into the oven.
This beef topside joint can be found in the frozen section instore of all good Tesco supermarkets, or from their website at www.tesco.com. The joint carries what seems like a decent price of £5.
Before Christmas, me and my girlfriend were scouting the frozen section of Tesco for a turkey joint that we had purchased many months before and thoroughly enjoyed. We had decided that we would purchase another to use for Christmas dinner as we were going to be away up until Christmas Eve which meant no chance of a fresh turkey, and for just the 2 of us, a full turkey would have been too much! We found the turkey joint that we wanted, priced at £5, sitting in one of the end freezer cabinets amongst other £5 meat joints with a sign showing they were on offer - 2 for £9. Well, we couldn't resist and picked out this Beef Topside joint to use at a later date.
The product itself is a 'Beef Topside, with a horseradish and mustard stuffing and crumb'. Sounds delicious, right?
The joint comes packaged in a silver foil tray with a plastic seal over the top. The foil tray is surrounded by a removable cardboard sleeve. The front of the sleeve is predominantly a pinky-red in colour, generally the shade used for the packaging of beef products to help shoppers distinguish between different meats. The front has a lovely looking photograph of what the product is apparently going to look like when cooked - looking all delicious and succulent, carved and covered in a crispy looking crumb, stuffed to the maximum and surrounded by greenery and roast potatos. Just looking at the packaging is enough to make your tummy grumble.
The text on the front of the packaging states 'Tesco - to roast..Beef Topside with a horseradish and mustard stuffing & crumb'. Directly beneath this Tesco seem to have felt the need to emphasise this description by writing exactly the same thing with a little wording edit, "Extra mature beef topside joint stuffed and topped with horseradish and mustard". They also add that there are 'No artificial preservatives, flavours or colours.' The cardboard sleeve front also states this is a 'New Recipe', 'Serves 4' and comes bearing the £5 price, oven timing, 'boneless', at-a-glance nutritional information for 1/4 of the joint, weight and best before date.
The back of the cardboard sleeve states again what the product is, freezing guidelines, nutritional info listed for both 100g and 1/4 of the joint, defrosting guidelines, cooking information from both frozen and defrosted, allergy advice, ingredients and a caution about elastic strings being tied around the product. The barcode is also found in the bottom right hand of the sleeve, with Tesco contact information.
That 'later date' as mentioned earlier, happened to be lastnight. My girlfriend has promised me a Sunday roast, and damn I was looking forward to it! So out came the 'bargain' Beef Topside and into the oven it went. Following the packaging, which states that 'For best results always cook from frozen' - we did just that. The packaging stated that the joint would take 2 hours 5 minutes to cook at 180 degrees celcius/gas mark 4. Fantastic! Or so we thought. In actualy fact, this joint took 3 hours 30 minuts to cook. After the stated 2 hours 5 minutes we removed the joint from the oven and carved it directly down the middle to check whether it was cooked. To our horror the joint oozed blood, was completely rare inside and was nothing but deep pink bleeding flesh swimming in around 2 inches of melted fat inside the foil tray. Hideous! It took a futher 1hour 30 mins to cook through to an acceptable level, and by this point all the other extras that we had been cooking to go with the joint - roast potatos and veggies - were spoiled. Not to mention the both of us being completely starved!
Upon removing the joint from the lake of moulten fat within the foil tray, we noticed that the entire joint appeared to be balding from its 'horseradish and mustard crumb', which had turned to sludge during the cooking process and slid off the meat into the bottom of the tray. I was rather dissapointed at this point, without even trying any of it, after it having taken so long to cook, then looking absolutely nothing like the photograph from the outside.
Carving the meat was somewhat of a nightmare, as the 'horseradish and mustard' stuffing decided to make a quick exit from the meat and ended up laid in a lump to be dished up after carving. The meat itself carved in a nightmareish fashion, more like butchery than carvery. At this point we were so hungry that we made do with the terribly butchered meat and hastily got it to the table to eat - which proved to be the worst part of the entire ordeal!
After taking so long to cook and carving being such a nightmare, i was ready to wolf down the meat and be done with it. However this was not to be. The meat was hardly meat at all. I'd say the joint was 85% gristle, 10% fat and 5% crap offcut. Okay, for £5 I wasn't expecting the meat to be amazing, but good lord this was a travesty! Tough, stringy, chewy, and gristly. We managed to swallow down a few mouthfuls whole, but the rest went to the dogs. The meat was impossible to chew, not breaking up at all no matter how long you chewed it for. There were lumps of gristle and inedible fat within the meat and either end of the joint was entirely made up of fat, which meant we were only left with half a joint, of which was all terrible! I'd never come across anything like it in my life, it was clear from the chewy, rubbery, inedibly tough texture that this was the cheapest of the cheap. I wasn't expecting a lot for £5, but I also wasn't expecting to be purchasing something so disgusting.
All in all this was the worst meat I have ever attempted to eat in all my 21 years. Tough, chewy, fatty and hideous. We've vowed never to buy a frozen joint again, and only to buy fresh from a reputable butcher. If you do plan on purchasing this product, even after reading this long review, which has turned into a bit of a rant, I'd give you one last warning against it. Keep your £5 in your pocket and spend it wisely elsewhere, unless you want a spoiled dinner.
The only redeeming feature of this product was the 'horseradish and mustard stuffing' which was delightfully tasty - probably due to the fact it had been cooked for 3 hours 30 mins and my stomach was grateful for anything it recieved!
I'd just like to point out that I believe in being honest, and for me this product is not worth the single star I've been forced to give it. I rather begrudgingly awarded this product with 1 star, as unfortunately DooYoo does not offer the option of awarding 0 stars to a product.
We got this frozen beef joint for a back up meat on Xmas day and it was a massive disappointment, it only cost £5.00 and my mum brought it on the spur of the moment to go with the turkey and lamb.
It's a small joint of beef that has got a horseradish stuffing and crumb, it looked delish on the box and I think we was sucked in because it was proper crap when it was cooked.
The joint takes about 2 hours all together and there's a bit of fiddling with covering with foil, taking it off and stuff. We had to leave ours in longer than it said on the box because after the end of the cooking time the beef was still mega tough. It made things a bit awkward actually because on Xmas day we needed the oven for other things! lol
When it was done as much as we could without burning the joint the meat was still proper chewy. When my dad cut it up he had to take pieces out that was too tough to cut properly let alone chew, and it's deffo not my mums cooking because she does a wicked joint of meat.
The stuffing is very bitty and it's not got much flavour, I couldn't hardly taste the horseradish in it at all and there's a bit of a sausagemeat flavour to it but not much. The crumb is a waste of time as well because it's gone all wet while the beef is cooking, there's not much horseradish in that either and I thought it was proper boring as well as having a mega unpleasant sloppy texture.
It was a bad idea to try something unknown like that on Xmas day, it was rubbish from start to finish and so tough that we only got half a joint between us because the rest was tooooooo much to cope with!