“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Meat „
I always like to buy decent quality meat for meals such as beef curry, stir frys and sunday dinners, however as it's winter i've been cooking alot of stews and so I didn't see the problem in buying a slightly less expensive pack of beef - it was only going to be added into a pot of veg and broth and blended, so I wasn't too fussy.
This beef is from Tesco's value range, and costs £3.10 for a 450 gram pack. This isn't a bad price, but to be honest it isn't a huge amount cheaper than non-value beef in similar sized packs - there's only around a 50 pence difference. The beef comes in a clear plastic tray with a cellophane/thin plastic type lid which is transparent, it simply peels off and you can then pour the beef into the frying pan/whatever you are using to cook it in. The packaging is very basic, it simply lists the product name (diced British beef), the calorie content etc and it also has the Tesco Value logo on it.
The beef is cut up into chunks, they do vary in size but most are quite big, and I usually cut them up into smaller chunks in order for them to cook properly and also to get a more 'even' meal - if you cooked them as they were you'd end up with about 5 big chunks each in a family of two, so in order for me and my boyfriend to have a generous helping of the meat each, it is just easier to cut the chunks up.
The beef always looks fresh, it's a nice deep shade of pinky red and there's usually around a tablespoon of blood gathered at the bottom of the pack which shows that it is fresh. The blood did put me off a bit at first but it doesn't anymore and I usually put the blood into a bowl for the dogs to enjoy, however it's also fine to just stick into the frying pan with the beef as the meat absorbs the juices.. how gross does that sound? Sorry if i'm putting anyone off buying it with all this talk of blood haha.
The beef cooks well in the frying pan, it takes around 10 minutes on a medium heat until it is thoroughly cooked (the bigger the chunks the longer they take.) Once the meat is cooked I simply stick it into my slow cooker and by time I am home after a busy day it is gorgeous - it melts in my mouth and tastes lovely, it doesn't taste cheap at all, it's not stringy or fatty and has no gristle. However..
On the two or so occasions that I have cooked this beef without slow cooking it, it's been anything but great. It is very stringy and chewy, it is flavoursome but the texture ruins it. I had to throw out a large bowl of beef curry because the beef was so inedible, so I would not reccomend buying the meat unless you plan on slow cooking it.
The beef isn't too high in calories or bad for your health at 140 calories and 6.2 grams of fat per 100 grams. I always drain the fat off of the beef after frying it and there's usually around a tablespoon of it, so it's not overlly fatty or greasy, and in my opinion it's good value and i'd reccomend it.
=== The product ===
This is diced beef from the Tesco Value range. This is sliced up all ready for cooking and the chunks are fairly large and a decent mouthful. This is a convenience meat really and is all ready for use.
== The packaging ===
This beef comes in the standard 'meat' kind of casing. A plastic tray with a clear plastic over the top so you can see the quality/cut/shape of the meat before you purchase. There is also a sticky paper label over this showing all the usual information such as how long to cook this for and when it should be consumed by. The packaging is tough, strong and sturdy. It sits in the bottom of my fridge and despite being knocked and banged around in the Tesco van and on the way up our 48 stairs (yes, really!) it stays perfectly intact. It is very rare that I purchase this and find that the packaging has been damaged, it's usually just because of 'blown' packaging that I would have to return this but it's only happen on two occasions in all the time I have purchased this.
=== Is this nice? ===
That depends on your personal tastes of course. We love beef in our house; burgers, steaks, pies, you name it we will try it if it has beef in it or on it! This meat is lovely and tender once it has been cooking in our slow cooker for several hours. I brown the meat before use and this gives me an opportunity to remove any pieces that look like they are full of sinew or fat. When I am slow cooking I don't bother to trim any fat unless it's very obvious and large. This goes lovely and tender once cooked and then it will just be melt in your mouth soft. This absorbed all the flavours from the vegetables and casserole mix it was cooked with and was a beautifully soft selection of meat. I'm pretty sure that is a yes!
=== Where can I buy this & for how much? ===
This can be purchased in store at Tesco stores and online at Tesco.co.uk and the price will vary depending on the pack size as this is a 'catchweight' priced item. The prices vary from around £2.10 to £2.90 on the packets that I purchase online and obviously I get the item that someone else has picked out for me. The price, overall, per kilo of beef is £6.25 which is almost £2.00 per kilo cheaper than the standard Tesco diced beef and almost £3.00 cheaper than the higher end 'Finest' diced beef. The size of the packets I purchase varies from around 0.32kg to 0.48kg.
=== Overall opinion ===
I purchased this because I am on a tight budget with just one of us working and as I regularly slow cook my beef which offers extra tenderness I am more willing to try different cuts now. I slow cooked this and browned it before hand so I could drain off some of the excess fat before use.
This is definitely a meat that you can to use for your slow cooker and for long cook casseroles. It's too tough to enjoy in a meal that doesn't take long and if you want it for something like a Chinese style beef in black bean sauce or similar then you are going to want to spend a little more on a different cut as this will still be tough after just an hour of cooking.
This meat really is fantastic value for money, it's the cheapest I could find and I have purchased it on quite a few occasions now. This can be frozen, if necessary, both before and after cooking but must never be re-frozen once defrosted unless cooked first. For just a few pounds I am able to cook a delicious warming home cooked casserole for when my husband gets home and there is usually enough for a pot to be frozen also for a rainy day when I can't be bothered to cook.
Obviously this is not the highest quality meat you are even going to find but for the price and for slow cooking, which I use it for, it's just fantastic and tastes succulent, tender and delicious by the time I have finished with it! Because you could not use, taste wise, for all purposes I have given this a 3/5.
Tesco Value Diced Beef
Description: Manufacturer: Tesco / Type: Meat.
Anyone who regularly reads my reviews (many thanks, I really appreciate it!) will know that I review a lot of products from the supermarket ranges which offer savings to customers by spending less on posh looking packaging. As we all know, the packaging just gets thrown away anyway so it makes sense not to spend extra on it.....and let's be honest, we all have better things to spend our hard earned cash on!
I have recently started buying items from the Tesco Value range, whereas before, I admit that I passed it by, assuming that the cheap and nasty packaging meant that the product would also be cheap and nasty. I have been surprised to find that on many occasions, this isn't the case and the products have actually been great.
Mr Siamese and I have just bought a slow cooker which came with a great book filled with delicious recipes. Now one of the bonuses of a slow cooker is that you don't have to buy expensive cuts of meat, you can buy the cheaper stuff and the slow steady method of cooking leaves even the cheapest cuts as tender and melt in the mouth as can be.
A massive 850g pack will cost you just £5.68 and there is enough for several meals. We made a massive pot filled with a delicious beef in red wine casserole and had loads of portions to freeze for meals later on.
The beef comes in large chunks, they are not as evenly diced as some of the more expensive brands but you can chop up the bigger ones to make them more similar. There is a little bit of fat but not much and it is easy to trim off with scissors or a sharp knife.
I haven't tried this meat in a saucepan but can highly recommend it for slow cookers. The casserole was delicious, the meat was so tender that it fell apart and it tasted fantastic. If I hadn't known that it was cheap meat, I never would have guessed because it was so tasty.
If you are looking for a cheap option for your slow cooker then then meat is well worth trying, it is tasty and delicious and the perfect way to save money while still enjoying a gorgeous home made meal.
Nutritional information per 100g is as follows;
Energy kCal 140 kCal
Energy kJ 585kJ
of which sugars 0.0g
of which saturates 2.0g
Fibre 0.0 g
Salt Equivalent 0.2g
I got this diced beef to try because it was loads cheaper than the normal Tesco stewing beef and I was on a big time budget that day, I was going to be cooking the stew for ages so I knew a cheap meat would be ok. The only thing I was stressing about was that the meat was going to be tough when it was cooked because it was LOADS cheaper, I got loads of meat for £3.52 and it was all cut into massive pieces so I cut it all up again and got double the amount!
There was a bit of fat on the beef but it was easy to cut off, it was mainly on the edges so it didn't take long to get it all off and then the meat looked just like any other stewing steak. I did it with loads of vegetables and thick gravy, it would have been even better in the slow cooker I reckon but even done in the casserole dish for a few hours the meat went nice and tender. It has got a wicked taste and has soaked the gravy up nice, when it's cooked good the stewing beef will start falling apart and honest it's not any different from stewing meat that would cost double the price.
I tried the beef when it had cooked for about 2 hours and it wasn't cooked all that well because it was still majorly tough so I don't think this cheap meat would be any good for quick cook stews. For ones that you're going to cook for longer it's fine though and it hasn't got a watery taste or anything like I thought it would with it being so cheap, one thing I deffo recommend is that you brown the stewing meat off in the frying pan for a few mins so you can drain the fat off but I'd do that with any stewing meat not just this cheapo one.
The stew I made with this Value beef come out wicked. The gravy was thick and the meat cooked at the same time as the vegetables so it was all good, it all tasted perfect as well and the meat also went nice drained off and put on a butty the next day with a bit of horseradish sauce. Yummy!
I deffo recommend you give this cheap stewing meat a go, for the price there's nothing wrong with it you just have to do a bit of preparation before you put it in the pot and even though if I've got the cash I'll still buy the dearer one that's just for quickness because this Value one takes a lot longer to cook to get it tender. Once it's done the taste and texture is wicked though.
Recommended... cheap and as long as you cook it for a long time it goes lovely and tender!!!