“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Other Ready Meals „
Once again, another cheapskate's review from the Tesco Everyday Value range - this time Instant Mashed Potato.
Info from the pack.
Like all the Value range it has been rebranded, and instead of the familiar red white and blue design, it has pretty little food motifs and a colour photo of sausage, gravy, peas and mash.
The bag contains 120g of dried product and the pack was 20p.
The ingredients are
Potato (98%), Emulsifier (Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids), Stabiliser (Disodium Diphosphate), Antioxidant (Ascorbyl Palmitate), Colour (Curcumin), Preservative (Sulphur Dioxide). I was quite surprised at the list of additives, but it's only 2% and I don't have high enough consumption of the product to warrant concern.
Allergy advice draws attention to the Sulphur Dioxide, and does not warn of any other allergens - usually most packs have a "cannot guarantee nut free" warning and I was surprised to see this product does not.
It is suitable for vegetarians, and 100g made up water and milk contains 72 calories, 0.4g of fat and 0.1g of Salt.
Cooking instructions advise adding 175ml of skimmed milk and 525ml of water per pack, and it can be made instantly with boiling water from the kettle, on the hob or in the microwave (full instructions on packet). The pack advises that this will make 4 servings. The shelf life on the pack I bought had 6+ months.
How and why I use it.
I've never actually used this product on its own to make straightforward instant mash, but I find it very versatile and really handy to keep a pack in the cupboard.
First of all, I have some in standby for an emergency when I am making regular mash. I often spend a day cooking stuff to stock up the freezer (fish pies, shepherd's pies etc.) and make mash by the gallon to use as a topping. No matter how I try to peel and boil enough potatoes, after mashing them all up I can usually tell that there won't be enough to top all the pies I have prepared, so just to make it all stretch far enough, I'll "cut" my mash with a pack of TEV Instant Mash by making a well in the middle, adding water straight from the kettle, chucking the dried stuff in then giving it a good whizz with my electric hand whisk. It doesn't affect the taste, but changes the consistency slightly by making it a bit more sticky - this makes it easier to spread and stick to the sides of the baking dish!
I also use it as a quick thickening agent in cooking. I'll add a quick shake to soups, stews and casseroles that are a bit too watery - often I'll have a good quantity of regular potato in them already but don't have the time to add and cook more. I also use a few flakes in a fish cake mix - I tend to just whack all my ingredients into the food processor and give them a whizz, and the mash flakes are a great way to mop up any excess liquid and make the mixture easier to bind and shape.
What I use it for mostly is as a coating for oven baked food as I got a tip of a friend doing Slimming World that instant mash could make a healthy version of KFC. I googled the recipe but all I could find were the instructions to dip cooked chicken in beaten egg, and then roll in seasoned mash flakes. It didn't specify what the KFC-style seasoning actually was so on further investigation I found that the lists of KFC "secret" herbs and spices seem to vary a bit - so I ended up with my mix containing: onion salt, garlic powder, sage, chilli powder, paprika, celery salt and black pepper. I baked the coated chicken in the oven until it was brown and crispy and the result was really good - and quite close in flavour to the original.
I have modified the seasoning mix, and do quite a lot of instant mash coated stuff now - I use a mix of garlic powder and parsley and make crispy garlic mushrooms, or add dill and grated lemon rind to coat fish.
I find that the TEV Instant Mash is perfectly fine for this method of cooking.
I have yet to actually sit down to a plate of plain instant mash made with this according to the instructions, and to be honest I can't see myself using it as such. If I need cooked potatoes quickly I'll bake some in the microwave, but this product is great - and fantastic value - as a store cupboard ingredient.
I'll give it 5 stars for my needs and usage!
Thanks for reading.
Now before you judge me for eating instant mash, please take into consideration that this was one of my cravings when expecting my son I couldn't get enough of it!
Tesco Value mash comes in slightly different packaging now, mainly red but still with the tesco logo and the word value.
The mash comes in a 500g packet for 45p which is pretty good value for money.
I had previously been using Mr Mash but this was not in stock at the local Tesco so I decided to give this a try, my husband absolutely hates the stuff and describes it as wall paper paste but me I love it especially when I use half milk and half boiling water with a knob of butter. To me it tasted just like potato and to be honest when you have it with beans or with gravy it does the job.
The packet is very durable and needs to be cut with scissors to get into the packet but once open it cannot be resealed which in my opinion is a little bit of a pain in terms of spilling over in the cupboard.
Preparation Guidelines as per the packet
For one serving 1. Carefully pour 190ml of boiling water into a bowl 2. Add one-sixth of the sachet of mix, stirring continuously. 3. For a thinner or thicker consistency, increase or decrease the amount of water. 4. Season to taste or add butter if desired. For 2 servings simply double the quantities of mix and water.
Like I said I prefer to mix the water quantities with half milk and half water and it really improves the taste.
I find this a great storecupboard ingredient to make a quick meal such as sausage, mash and beans or fish, peas and mash although this is usually a meal for one as hubby won't entertain the stuff but he does not like mash at the best of times let alone a mash substitute.
The instant mash is very low in fat and each serving is 60kcal and a trace of salt and sodium.
I do feel that if you add some milk and butter it really can taste like the real thing and I could not tell the difference between this and Mr Mash apart from the price and I will definately be buying this again.
Potato (98%), Emulsifier (Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids) , Stabiliser (Disodium Diphosphate) , Preservative (Sodium Metabisulphite) ,Citric Acid , Antioxidant (Ascorbyl Palmitate)
I am a mother of four and mealtimes can be a little bit of a push in my house at times. I regularly find myself trying to keep everyone happy whilst finding things that are nice and simple to cook. Generally my children aren't fussy eaters but I like to have some of this instant mash in the cupboard for the times when we are really pushed for time or money but I don't want to feed my children a takeaway or something rubbish.
This mash comes provided in a plastic bag and I recently paid 16p for 250g packets which are enough to feed the whole family at mealtimes providing we don't go too mad. The price is fantastic and I am sure that this is the cheapest I have seen it at for a long time.
This mash is incredibly easy to make, cheap too. Just add 850ml of water, 290ml of semi-skimmed milk to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Then place in a large bowl, add the entire contents of the sachet and mix together. I usually add a fair few knobs of butter to my mash as I find that this brings a lot more flavour to this instant mash and stops it being so bland. The mash is easy to mix as it's just flakes of potato and once you add it to the liquid it begins to expand straight away and I usually try to do it a little bit at a time so I can ensure that mash doesn't end up a big soggy mess.
The mash itself tastes quite nice once you've made it up with water, milk & butter because this brings a little extra flavour to the dish. The texture is perfectly smooth and this is ideal if you are giving it to fussy little ones. The smell is quite nice although if you don't use butter or milk and just go with water it's quite bland and horrible really as the texture is not quite as solid and it can feel a little bit like you are eating a pile of mush.
This is very simple, cheap and while it's not the most nutritionally rich product ever it's not too bad either with 100g containing 70 calories, 14.4g carbohydrate, 0.4g fat & 0.1g salt. I really don't mind letting my children have a big dollop of this at tea time, particularly if we are going to play in the park afterwards as they can burn some of it off before bedtime.
I am pleased with the quality of this product and see no reason why I won't continue to buy this in the future. I must admit that this is not a patch on real mashed potato as it is just missing that homemade quality and texture but if I add a nice bit of meat and some vegetables to this then it's fantastic as a main meal. Also, I've used this to top fish pies and other dishes in the past as it's very easy to make and tastes even nicer once it's been baked in the oven and covered with cheese.
Mashed potato is one of the easiest things in the world to make, so why on earth would I ever buy packets of powdered mash? Well I buy it for three really good reasons. (Well I think they're good anyway).
1 - When I am tired and hurting (I have fibromyalgia syndrome), this is extremely easy to use and doesn't make my shoulders ache like bashing real spuds does.
2 - When I want to do cheesy mashed potato balls this actually works better than using real mash!
3 - When I have something like a stew that needs thickening at serving point - this helps!
This packet mashed potato comes in the form of powdery flakes. They're packed in a simple thin plastic bag that's in the usual Tesco value colours, and it's cheap as anything to buy - 34p for a 250g bag. It's not much different to using regular potatoes in terms of calories and fat content, and when you want it, all you do is add salt, boiling water and mix well, and then if you want to a little milk or butter. EASY like I say!
The flavour isn't quite as good as proper freshly cooked potatoes mashed with milk and butter and black pepper, but it's not bad really, a bit like using a fairly bland potato really rather than anything else. I find it's nicest if you have something with a bit of liquid to serve with it - like doing it with sausages and beans say - rather than if it's completely dry.
For when I'm feeling fitter, one of our things we like sometimes is to make up nibbly food to have instead of a full meal (when we're watching the Grand Prix or a good film perhaps). Sometimes when we're doing this, one of the things I make is cheesy mashed potato balls. Now when I do this, I like to use packet mash instead of actual potatoes, and I like to make the mixture up a little stiffer than is recommended on the packet. The reason for this is that if you make it the regular way (or use regular potatoes mashed up), it becomes a little too thin when you add the grated cheese to the mix.
In case any of you fancy trying it, here's my (very easy lol) cheesy potato balls recipe:
~*~ Cheesy Potato Balls ~*~
Mix up some packet mash using a little less water than normal.
Grate Cheese and stir into the mash.
Add black pepper and a bit of mustard to taste.
Leave to cool a bit, and then make into small balls and place on a baking tray.
Pop in the oven on a medium high heat for 25-35 minutes or till golden brown.
Serve with other nibbly things.
Another use for this that I've found is as a thickener in a stew. I find sometimes that if the stew is a little runny when you've slow cooked something for example, you get to the end of the cooking time and just adding a handful of potato flakes and giving it a good stir and you can thicken the gravy up without changing the flavour of the food, and without having to faff with doing a cold mix of corn flour or anything.
Overall my opinion of this mash is pretty high. I don't think I'd really say it's any different from any other packet mashed potato I've used, which means that it's just not worth paying more than this for a branded product, and it's certainly easy to use too. It does also play a part in dishes like the one above because you can adjust the stiffness of the mixture in a way you just can't do with 'proper' mash. I don't think I'd want to use it all the time, but for something to have in the store cupboard for when I'm tired, or in pain or just need something fast, it's really useful. (I have to own when we've had unexpected guests turn up last minute I've even mixed up some of this and added it to regular mash when I've not had enough just to help the food go a bit further too!).
My daughter used to like potatoes when she was a small girl but when she was about the age of 14 she just would not eat potatoes at all, I thought it was just the teenage years kicking in with the fades etc that teenagers tend to do, but she just would not eat anything that was made with potatoes.
My dad used to always only eat instand mash and my mother used to buy him a well known brand at the time and he enjoyed his meals.
So one day I tried her with the instant mash and she ate it, to my surprise, and so she had it with her meal as she was fine with it, so who was I to complain.
When she grew up she still would not eat potatoes, although I did think she would at some point but she is now in her late 20s and I think she will stay on it now or at least until her taste buds change later in life as it can often happen as it has with me plenty of times.
So I came across this Tesco Value range mash and thought I would buy it and have in the home for when she has a meal with us, it cost only 34p for a 250g bag, which compared to the higher branded ones is very cheap, and she likes it.
It comes in a plastic bag which is easily opened and there are tiny little flakes of dried mash potato and all you have to do is add boiling water to it and mix it until it is nice and smooth, when smooth it can be served with a little butter on the top or added to the mixture.
I suggest though that you put the hot water into a jug first, probably a quatre of a pint for one serving, depending how much mash they like, and then add the flakes and stir continuously until it becomes nice and fluffy and then add a little butter or margarine and a small amount of milk to make a smoother texture, I find if I put the flakes in the jug first then add the water it becomes quite stiff and harder to mix.
It is ideal if you like instant mash, although it does not quite have the taste I like but for some people who live alone or in a hurry, it is ideal.
100g contains 70 calories.
I pour mine from the packet into a container and use it from there and it keeps for a long time and is always there for when I need it.
It is not recommended for babies or very young children.
I recommend it for instantly wanting mash and it is very easy to make and is done in a few minutes.
I give it a 4 star.