Product Type: Asda Ready Meals
Newest Review: ... instructions are clearly stated, weight (which is 85g) and contact details for Asda are given. Inside you get the stuffing mix in a plain,... more
It Has A Place, But I'd Never Use This Without A Little Something Extra
Asda Smartprice Sage & Onion Stuffing Mix
Member Name: missrarr
Asda Smartprice Sage & Onion Stuffing Mix
Advantages: Cheap, widely available, inoffensive and therefore, a fine basement-price product
Disadvantages: To be a truly good part of a roast meal, this needs help
So here I go with another dalliance into food review. My mentality in life is a strange combination of reflecting my Irish heritage and enjoying a Mediterranean approach to life - it's basically a "life is short, ignore the suits on BBC Breakfast telling you what to do and never read the Daily Mail" type approach and I also think that the best way to show people that you love them is to cook them good, healthy, brilliantly flavoursome food (and maybe wash that down with plentiful wine). At the moment I have a lovely new man, a wonderful mum and some brilliant friends who I never get to see enough, so when I get a chance to see them I love to spoil them with good food.
However, I'm also on a budget! Buying a house in your early twenties as a single female will do that to you - what was I thinking?! And as I am a capable cook myself I don't see the point in shelling out for top-brand basics. So, when I was cooking my first ever roast duck recently, I was happy to see an Asda Smart-Price Sage & Onion Stuffing Mix in my mum's cupboard.
Now I've used this before on it's own and whilst it's not worth writing home about, it does the job. You add water and it becomes stuffing. It's suitable for vegetarians (everyone I know is a ferocious carnivore but at least it gives the option for people who aren't), and the packaging claims it has no hydrogenated fat, which I appreciate as I like to keep things as healthy as I can on a budget.
This does contain gluten and wheat, and may contain traces of nuts or seeds, so be careful if you suffer allergies.
A box (the packaging is now in Asda's white and green rather than the picture on dooyoo) has one cellophane-wrapped sachet and weighs 85g. The box has instructions on how to make stuffing balls (add 225ml of water, leave to stand, roll, cook at 200 degrees for 20 mins etc) but I use stuffing to actually stuff things!
Per 100g, this has 113 calories when oven-cooked. 3.5g Protein, 22.5g Carbohydrates (0.9g sugars). .58g Sodium, 1g Fat, 2.5g Fibre.
This includes rusk, raising agents, calcium phosphates, vegetable suet, dried onion, salt, dried sage and also dried parsley.
As I said earlier, this is pretty average but then you're buying a budget version of a Sunday roast dinner side. It's not going to be the healthiest, the packaging is no-frills and frankly so is the product. The taste is okay but it's not going to make you think that the succulent bird you've cooked it with is obsolete and this side aspect of the meal instead is the ambrosia that the human condition has been searching for ever since taste buds evolved.
At the end of the day, it's 15p. Fifteen. Not fifty, fifteen. Paxo's equivalent is 40p. Neither will bankrupt you but if you're trying to save pennies, this does the job. But if you want to make it taste better than Paxo, do what I do...
***USE IT AS A BASE***
Got some home-made bread kicking about? Got a sage plant outside? Found a random shallot kicking around the veg rack? Then do something that will make Paxo taste like cardboard and sweat off the herbs and shallot, season, crumble in some bread to this, sling in the seasoning and add water and an egg. And if you've got a lot of mouths to feed or bird to stuff, maybe something like this would be a good idea to bulk it out a bit. In short, what I'm saying, is that this is stuffing - no more, no less, and on its own not great, the flavours aren't pronounced enough for it to be particularly good or indeed notable season the bird... but that doesn't mean it has to be naff. You can improve upon its flavour and its subsequent contribution to your meal if you use a bit of imagination and enhance its presence. But if you're just going to stick water in it and shove it up the orifice of a dead bird, you might want to consider whether or not your cooking skills and appreciation of taste is worthy of something giving its life for your sustenance in the first place.
I'm all for saving money and eating well and believe me, if I could afford it, every bit of meat that passed my lips would be ideally home-raised and killed by someone I would trust to do it properly and buy a pint for in the local, but I'm not there yet unfortunately. But I do think that if you're going to have a Sunday roast, you shouldn't let substandard products taint it or reduce the opportunity to make it a full-on pleasure and instead use it to help season, flavour and produce a meal that you and your loved ones can truly enjoy rather than just think "hmm, that was nice".
Whilst I am far from a vegetarian I do think that cooking something that is meat-based should be done to the best ability and resources you have. You can do this on a budget and this is where products like this, for me, step in, but they need a little help before they are worthy components of a truly enjoyable roast dish.
So I would never use this alone but I would use it to help out the volume with additional flavours, seasoning and ingredients. In that sense, it's inoffensive and perfectly pleasant, but it just needs a helping hand from someone who knows that real food has an abundance of flavour. And if I could afford to, I'm afraid I probably would never buy it again. However, three stars for fulfilling its basic duty and affordability.
Summary: It's useful to have in the back of the storecupboard for emergencies
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