“ Type: Beef „
When you live alone like a lot of us on here do there seems to be little point in buying a joint of meat just for us really and besides which its expensive and I can't be doing with the hassle to cook it just for me which is why when I spotted this box of 'Tender Silverside beef with homestyle gravy' in a portion for one person opted to treat myself to it with a ready made carton of mashed potatoes in my local Tesco store and some prepared green beans.
The meat comes in a sealed plastic see-through bag and within a box. On the front of the box there is a photograph of a roast dinner on there and we are told that it is Birds Eye Traditional Beef With Homestyle Gravy, there is an at a glance nutritional chart shown and we are told that it serves one portion/person. On the back of the box other information listed includes being told how to cook it, the ingredients and a full nutritional chart is stated and contact details for Birds Eye are given. Informative enough, small box this is.
The Beef Itself:
Well like I have mentioned this is silverside beef, you get several slices (about 5 which are rather small), which are thin and look like beef really and in a thickish looking gravy which is plentiful. To cook this you have two options. You can either microwave it in about 4 minutes or pop it in a saucepan for about 20 minutes, both options are to be cooked straight from frozen. I have had this a couple of times now and I have both microwaved and simmered it in a saucepan on the hob and really there is no difference at all in the flavour stakes and both options cook well in th time stated too.
This gives a decent amount of beef albeit thin. It isn't veiny, is rather smooth and not one bit chewy and/or gristly. Its easy to cut through, is well seasoned and simply tastes like really good quality beef to me and I have no quibbles with it at all. I like being able to cut through the meat with ease and its easily digestible and I find the portion size perfect for me and my appetite and its quick to cook which is a real added bonus!
The gravy is beef in flavour, light brown with no lumps at all in it so is smooth and it has body to it and isn't really very runny. It is well seasoned and compliments the amount of beef and the flavours perfectly and this is just great with some mash or roast potatoes and some nice fresh veg for a simple yet tasty meal and I certainly buy this now every week!
Nutritional Information Per Portion:
This is available in several sized portions to purchase in many good supermarkets I pay about £1.49 for this size I am reviewing and it costs me about £1.49 a box in Tesco an Asda.
COST (@ 21.10.08 in Sainsburys): 99p for a 227g pack
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per 100g):
- of which sugars: 0.3g
- of which saturates: 0.8g
- salt equivalent: 0.7g
Sliced beef (52%), beef gravy (48%), water, beef fat, beef stock, yeast extract, white wine extract, sugar, lemon juice, onion extract, lovage extract, black pepper, maize starch, wheat flour, caramelised sugar, reduced sodium salt
Although great care has been taken to remove all bones, some may remain.
Found in the frozen food section of most supermarkets and smaller grocers' shops, Birds Eye Frozen Roast Beef comes in a rather neat little shallow cardboard box. The colouring on the pack is largely different shades of brown. On the front of the box is a scene with brown mountains and a golden sunset behind them, and to the right of the scene is an image of a white china plate containing slices of roast beef, roast potatoes, a piece of what looks like broccoli and a drizzle of gravy. Further up and to the left-hand side of the box is the standard Birds Eye logo in white letters, and just underneath in dark red letters, are the words "Roast Beef in Gravy". At the bottom left-hand of the box is a little table of very basic nutritional information, very basic cooking instructions and a little logo advising that the product is intended to serve two people.
On the back of the box is more detailed nutritional information, cooking instructions (including microwave), allergy advice, a serving recommendation and the manufacturer's contact details.
Inside the box is a heat-proof, thick plastic bag which is vacuum-sealed at both ends. The beef in gravy in the bag looks like a large, brown lumpy ice lolly.
I can't remember a time when Birds Eye Roast Beef wasn't in existence, though I consider it possible that it may have made its first appearance during the 1960s some time, as that was when frozen food really took off - before then, hardly anybody had freezers at home.
I buy this frozen roast beef quite often, because I live alone and buying a fresh joint of beef is uneconomical, plus I'm not very good at cooking roast meat from scratch. It is recommended that Birds Eye Roast Beef be cooked from frozen, and it can either be dropped into a saucepan of boiling water and simmered for 25 minutes, or you can make 2 slits in the bag and microwave for 8 minutes in total. I personally find the end result is far nicer when going down the boil-in-the-bag route, and I cheat (as I hate using too many pots and pans when cooking, because of a deep loathing of washing-up) when cooking mine. I usually steam my vegetables in a tiered steamer, so I fill the bottom part with water which I bring to the boil, then I immerse the bag of beef in gravy into the boiling water and turn to a medium simmer. About 10 minutes after, I place the 2nd tier of the steamer on top, containing my prepared vegetables (usually carrots, peas, broccoli, cabbage etc.). I can then cook the beef and vegetables using the same container and save myself a lot of hassle later on.
Once the beef is cooked, I will remove the bag from the bottom section of the steamer with tongs, and lay it on a clean tea towel just for 30 or so seconds, to absorb the excess water clinging to the outside. After 30 or so seconds (during which time the meat and gravy doesn't lose any heat), I find the edge of the plastic bag is cold enough to handle, so I pick it up and snip the top off with sharp scissors. I can then easily pour the beef and gravy onto my plate, with no mess.
The beef and gravy on the plate looks and smells delicious. There is a reasonably generous amount of gravy which is ample for me - but may not be enough for some other people - I don't personally like my meals to be swamped in gravy. The slices are folded together, but are easily separated without them breaking up, and you can thus arrange them on your plate however you wish. The slices have smooth edges, and are uniform in size, cut fairly thin - they are largely lean, and don't contain any of those horrid lines of gristle running through them. The gravy is just the right consistency - not so thick that it turns to blancmange before you've had a chance to sample it, and not so thin that it's like water.
On sampling, the roast beef tastes just as good as it smells, and the gravy has a mild, meaty flavour that isn't so strong it drowns out everything else on your plate. A 227g pack costing 99p is intended to serve two people and holds approximately four slices of beef, but I find I need the whole pack to myself, as there's no way I'd be satisfied with just half. The meat is lovely and tender, and is complimented by a well-made Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, and whatever vegetables you choose to have with it. It also goes very well with mashed or jacket potatoes and vegetables.
Unless it's all in my imagination, it seems to me that over the years Birds Eye Roast Beef In Gravy has undergone a distinct improvement. It appears to me that the meat is far more tender than it used to be, and the gravy tastes different - I find the flavour of the gravy to be a lot more subtle than it was, say 20 years ago, and I far prefer the nowadays taste.
This is, if you are feeding just yourself or one other person too, an incredibly economical way of enjoying a roast dinner that is as near authentic as dammit. Even more economical if you find that half a 227g pack is enough to serve two, as it will then make a full roast dinner with the meat and gravy costing just 99p! It's an amazingly cheap roast dinner if you want to hog the whole pack to yourself too, as 99p is still way below what it would cost to buy fresh meat.
I suppose the only down-side for some people (though it's not a problem for me), is that there isn't any cold meat left, as there probably would be from a fresh joint of meat, to have later for tea or the next day cold with mashed potato and bubble & squeak (or whatever you have with it). Thinking further, it also wouldn't be suitable for people who don't like gravy at all, as the gravy isn't separate and it would be too cumbersome to scrape it all off.
All in all, I absolutely love Birds Eye Roast Beef In Gravy, and always try to make sure I have several packs in the freezer. To anybody who hasn't tried it, I strongly recommend you do - it is a live-saver for those who live alone, and I'm sure you wouldn't be disappointed.
Thumbs up and 10/10 to Birds Eye for making it convenient for us solo-livers to have a hassle-free roast dinner whenever we feel like it.
This item is lovely i am not a fan of beef i try to keep away and when it is served for sunday dinner i cant say i eat it. But this is lovely and i will admit to having this on its own as a sort of snack when i have been hungry. We cant all be super mum/wife/daughter and cant cook from scratch everyday in the busy life's most of us live. So this is a handy alternative to cooking. It tastes pretty much the same the gravy is really nice and i have found myself dipping my bread in it. The beef is tender and juicy and not all chewy and hard to enjoy. It literally breaks away when you pick it with a fork and is ready to enjoy with some Mash and pea's or whatever it is you might choose. Admittedly not a great replacement for a sunday roast. But with an oven like mine the smaller cooking space used the better. Great idea here from Birds Eye. Recommended