“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Corned Beef „
I was stuck for a quick snack this lunchtime and remembered that I'd bought some Tesco corned beef at my last shop and had put two packs in my freezer. Now this might sound strange to some people, after all it is meant as a refrigerator item and you won't find it labeled as suitable for freezing. However, I have found that most sandwich meats will freeze quite successfully as long as the quality is good and the item isn't stored for too long.
So what's the product?
Tesco's Corned beef is the name on the packet but to save confusion with Tesco Value and Tesco 4 day corned beef, this has got the words 'no added water' on the front of the packet. This is also a premium quality product but you wouldn't be wrong in thinking this is a value product as the price at the moment is on a 2 for £3 offer and this offer comes up fairly often, as opposed to the value that is an excellent price but is rarely in store. A pack contains 140g and is normally £2.30, so this is a great saving. Each pack contains four large slices and is perfectly shaped for a large slice of bread. The display date is normally two weeks in advance so perfect for keeping in the fridge.
Looking at the pack it's a black tray with a see-through front and a strip that shows a purple background with a serving suggestion of sandwiches. This is very lean meat indeed with just South American beef, salt, sugar and preservative. It's prepared with 120g raw beef to each 100g-finished slice, so you get all the taste and virtually no fat. For me this is a real bonus as I watch my fat intake very carefully. I can't stand food that tastes like cardboard either, though I have always found all Tesco corned beef to taste good. I won't give you a huge rundown of how good this is for you, but with saturated fat at only 1.8g per slice I can afford to eat this whereas I would normally be unable to indulge myself very often. With each slice at 70 calories it allows me to keep to a reasonable diet and still enjoy my food.
I make sandwiches with this but also serve with new potatoes or mash and minted peas. It's great in corned beef hash or put together with mash, carrots, onions and swede, then baked in pastry for a great tasting Cornish style pasty. My mum used to make something she called pasty-pie and it's still a firm family favorite. The concept is similar to the pasty filling but you can add some sage & onion stuffing instead of mash and the taste is stronger. Really corned beef is so versatile you can do a lot with it.
Fresh or frozen?
Fresh is obviously best but since this doesn't have added water you can freeze it very successfully without getting a soggy mess. Each slice still comes apart in a whole piece, unlike some cheaper brands. This is the same after freezing. I normally freeze one pack and use the other for sandwiches. This last time I wanted to buy more and make it last so with a good long sell-by date of two weeks I managed to buy four packs for £6 and have enough in the freezer for a month. This is invaluable for me as I live alone. It's recommended to refrigerate after opening and use within two days I manage three days.
Another good thing for me is that I can buy this with no problems concerning my milk allergy. It does sound strange but I'm allergic to the lactose in milk and this is classed as a natural milk sugar and is widely used as a preservative. This is also got the allergy advice as recipe-no nuts, though it cannot guarantee its nut free. As it's made in a factory that's nut free I can only suppose this is to cover all eventualities. My niece has a severe nut allergy and she is very careful indeed.
I've mentioned the texture but not the taste or smell. You can tell good corned beef by the smell and this is lovely, really rich but pleasant. The taste is just as good, not too strong but plenty of flavour. You could smell this blindfold and know it was corned beef. I know I'm beginning to sound like an advert, but taste and smell does count and nowadays corned beef is a luxury, not a cheap sandwich filler. I remember when I was little (a long time ago), we were still getting food from the commonwealth and corned beef was a cheap standby, not a luxury. Sadly times change but the demand is still there. So remember the next time you go to Tesco or shop online, pop two or more of these in your trolley and make a meal of it.