“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Meat „
Usually when it comes to making stews and pies and things (which isn't all that often to be perfectly honest with you) I will buy proper steak to do so. However my lovely boyfriend loves steak but not in things and with gravy so when I do buy steak (again not all that often) I will save it for both of us to have as a treat and cook it the way he likes it. However I do like to make stews and casseroles and the likes for myself and got stuck in rut really with chicken lately as its one of the cheaper options of meat and for one person I don't want it to cost the earth however I stumbled across this the other day in Tesco and opted to try it. I don't think up until this point I had bought canned meat such as this before but was up for giving it a whirl. Although I am reviewing Tesco Stewed Steak I am reviewing the 'Lean' option of this which cos me £2.54 for a 400g can of it. The Packaging: The label on this shows me a photograph of the stewed steak and I am clearly told what it is and who it is by on there and there is an at a glance nutritional chart stated then on the back of the can other information listed includes the ingredients and allergy advice being given, we are told how to heat this up, a full nutritional chart is given, the size is stated (as I have listed already) and contact details for the manufacturer are clearly stated. Nice enough can this is and it has a handy ringpull to the top of it. Using It: Upon opening it I thought it looked pretty disgusting and a bit like a low quality dog food to be honest. It had a strange smell to it and looked jellified and well packed in the can. You can heat this on the hob and in a saucepan for a few minutes or heat it up in the microwave if you prefer or of course add it to recipes which is what I did. I added this to my slow cooker and it had plenty of jelly looking gravy in it and I added some fresh vegetables to it and a little more stock and left my slow cooker to try and create some sort of fab stew type of thing over a few hours with my fingers crossed! What I got was ok to be fair to it. The meat was tender and not greasy, the gravy was rich although a little artificially sweet I felt. I felt that it was meaty enough and to be fair each can does contain 75% beef which is very good along with a few other bits and pieces like black pepper, tomato puree and onion. I didn't find it to be chewy and did find it tender and there was plenty of it. There was no gristle, bone or fatty bits I could complain about however if you want to compare it to 'real' steak then there is no competition between the two and this is less flavoursome. However having said that I had no complaints with this and felt it was very good quality and tasty enough and I really have no quibbles with it apart from the fact I prefer fresh steak I cook myself but this is something that I would buy again and shove in my store cupboard 'just in case'! With only 305 calories per half a can (200g) but with a whopping 6.8g of Saturated Fat this isn't all that great on the fat consumption stakes considering it is billed as lean meat though...another minor quibble from me in my case but may concern some people! Only available in Tesco stores.
I decided to cook a quick and easy meal for tea last night, so I fried some onions, peppers and mushrooms in some spray oil and poured over two tins of Tesco stewed steak to have with some new potatoes and vegetables, this is something I cook about once a month because its quick and easy, but this is the first time I'd made it with Tesco's own stewed steak as I usually buy Princes. THE PRODUCT This stewed steak costs £1.55 for a 410g tin. The tin is a red/maroon colour and fairly plain so doesn't particularly stand out, however the picture on the tin shows a recipe suggestion of a steak pie which is cut open to reveal chunks of very succulent looking steak in a rich looking gravy. There is no ring pull on the tin so requires tin opener. The front of the tin also shows the contents of half of the stewed steak as a percentage of your guideline daily allowance (which I have included at the end of this review for those that want to read about it). The back of the tin shows the usual hob and microwave instructions, allergy advice, ingredients and it also states that the product is produced in Brazil. MY VERDICT My initial impression of the tin is that it doesn't particularly stand out and I probably wouldn't have noticed it on the shelf however I shop on-line so it came up with the product search results when I entered stewed steak. The price of a 410g tin of stewed steak costs £1.55 while the princes tin of the same size costs £1.95. I opened the first tin with a tin opener (this is standard with most of Tesco's own products and as I have said before if the price and the product is right this doesn't bother me) and was disappointed straight away with the appearance of the contents instead of being a rich dark brown, as shown on the front of the tin, the gravy was so pale it was almost a beige colour, rather than the rich dark gravy shown on the front of the tin and as for the big succulent chunks, well sort of accurate in a way I suppose, there was a big chunk, only it was more like one huge chunk of meat in the middle of all the gravy that I had to break up to mix into the pepper mix. I do have to add that the second tin although just as anaemic looking did have chunks of meat in rather than one big one, but there was also a few chunks of just fat that I had to pick out. When I had heated the meat up with the onions, pepper and mushrooms the sight of it didn't exactly tantalise my taste buds it was pale and the gravy was extremely runny, bordering on watery, so I had a taste and it wasn't much better than how it looked, very bland and the gravy almost tasteless. SUMMARY A sprinkle of bisto and some seasoning livened it up enough to eat but at a saving of 40p a tin of which I buy two a month I would definitely rather spend an extra 80p a month than eat that again. All in all a real disappointment and one of Tesco's own brands that I definitely will not be buying again. A serving contains (half a tin) Calories: 240kcal, 12% of your GDA Sugar: 1.8g, 2% of your GDA Fat: 6.2g, 9% of your GDA Saturates: 2.5g, 13% of your GDA Salt: 1.6g, 27% of your GDA of your guideline daily amount!!!
Every now and again when I am doing my big shop I add a couple of tins of something to store away in my cupboard for those just in case days - just in case of what I have no idea, but if my store cupboard is reasonably well stocked then I am a happy bunny. Well, if no `just in case` days come along the contents of my store cupboard remain ignored and the use by dates on the cans get shorter and shorter. I have heard many mention that canned meat would never appear on their shopping list but I beg to differ on that one. On many an occasion a can of minced beef and onion has provided a quick and easy supper dish - topped with a layer of creamy mashed potato and served with buttered carrots and greens it has gone down a treat. Tesco do a very passable canned stewed steak and at £1.74 for a 410g can I don't think that anyone could call it cheap either. The can will only make a pie that serves the two of us, so add the price of any vegetables that you serve along with the pie and it will probably cost just as much as if you had used fresh stewing steak. But fresh stewing steak takes time to prepare and if time is not on your side then it is an option worth considering. The can of Tesco stewed steak doesn't exactly go out of its way to sell itself, a bright red paper label that has Tesco stewed steak in gravy printed on it and the picture of the helping of steak pie that sits on the front of the can couldn't be called appetising, not a vegetable in sight to brighten the whole scene up, plus the fact that you will have to be prepared to wield the can opener- nothing so fancy as a ring pull. 77% of the can contains Brazilian beef, now there is nothing wrong with Brazilian beef what so ever but it does make you wonder why that label cannot say 77% British beef but then in hindsight the price of the can would treble and no one would ever buy it. The beef is diced and whoever has cut it has been fairly accurate and has managed to create a can full of `matching pieces`. All in all the cooked beef is a good colour, break a piece in two and the meat appears to be tender enough too. The combination of the tomato puree, seasoning, beef extract and onion powder that have been added to the gravy make for a good tasty smell. The contents of the can only come into their own when they have been heated, open the can and in the cold light of day you could be forgiven for thinking unkind thoughts. As much as you stare at the list of ingredients you cannot find anything untoward, the ingredients are straightforward, just beef, a thickening agent for the gravy and seasoning - not to forget that little bit of tomato purée that does inject further favour. Tesco point out that the contents of the can contain gluten and wheat and they advise that there is a slight possibility that it could even contain a nut. Believe you me if there was any fat or gristle the contents of the can would be heading towards the waste bin at a rate of knots, just the sight of gristle is a major turn off in my book. But the butchers have been thoughtful and have trimmed the meat well. As the meat starts to heat in the oven it smells much like any other stewed beef and the finished dish tastes much like any other meat pie. The diced beef has soaked up the thick gravy and that has enhanced the flavour of the meat. Tesco seemed to have based their table of nutritional values on the fact that the can would produce two servings, one serving contains 240 calories, 1.8g sugar, 6.2g fat, 2.5g saturated fat and 1.6g of salt. Tesco stewed steak makes a good store cupboard stand by but I would only choose to use it if I was pushed for time. Give me a pound of fresh stewing steak, a couple of onions and a few carrots any day of the week.