“ Brand: Asda / Type: Sauces „
Now that the winter is well and truly upon us, it's time to get the old casserole dish out and start getting some decent dinners done!
My boyfriend loves meat casseroles with mashed potato and this week I decided to give this casserole mix from Asda a go.
This is a packet mix meaning that it is a dry powder that you mix with water before pouring in your casserole dish with the ingredients before chucking in the oven.
The packet is slightly different to the one in the pic above - It is predominantly brown and has a picture of a tasty looking casserole on it. The packet cost 32p although Asda are currently doing a 4 for £1 deal on a lot of their packet mixes.
So I put a packet of diced stewing steak, a chopped onion, a chopped carrot and a handful of halved mushrooms in a pot with this mix, put the lid on and cooked at 180 for about an hour and 3/4.
The casserole sauce thickens up and is very very flavoursome. I had assumed that this casserole would last us two days but no, my boyfriend ate the lot in one sitting!
I absolutely recommend this, in fact I have just bought another 4 to go in the cupboard - the use by date is so far in advance that it can stay in the cupboard for ages, although the way my boyfriend gobbled it down, I doubt it will stay there very long!
I love leaving my slow cooker on while I'm at work. It's so lovely to come home to a warm home that smells of delicious home cooked food with minimal effort and fuss. As I can be lazy quite often I like to buy lots of different casserole mixes. While in Asda a few weeks back I stocked up on their packet mixes as they are 4 for £1.00 on a long term price offer and just too cheap to resist to be honest! Now this packet doesn't actually say it can be used in a slow cooker, or anywhere other than an oven, but I never let that bother me before and I didn't with this!
The packet is very simple to use, just rip it open, mix with about 450ml of water, stir well and pour all over your ingredients. I simply chopped up my vegetables, my beef, poured this on top, added a few herbs, spices and a stock cube and left it to simmer for about 6-7 hours in my slow cooker while out at work.
I must say that this mix was incredibly easy to use but it's really nothing special. The 'gravy' I made up using this mix was fairly thick and didn't look too bad. It did get watered down a little during the hours it was cooking in the slow cooker but this was nothing a little dash of corn flour didn't fix for me. The smell that was released was one of a traditional stock with a hint of celery and a little flavouring of onion in there. It wasn't overpowering and was just enough to give a real base to my dish. I did add quite a few dried herbs & spices of my own but overall it was a great starter for what turned out to be a wonderful dinner.
I must say that the meal we ate was delicious with lots of added beef, vegetables and new potatoes, however, there was no real ale taste to this at all. The beef flavourings did come through strong and it's fair to say that this sauce mix did add a little something extra to the casserole and for 25p each (when 4 are purchased) it's a fantastic price for a base for your own flavours.
I would firmly recommend this casserole mix, it's easy to use, works well and for 25p (or 33p at it's purchase alone price) it's very reasonable indeed! While the mix is a little watery towards the end of cooking the smell that it gives off really does mind me of the home-made stews and casseroles that my Mum has made for me over the years, who doesn't love a bit of nostalgia?
Each 1/4 sachet contains 26 calories, 0.6g protein, 5.4g carbohydrates (of which 0.4g sugars), 0.1g fat (trace of saturates), 0.3g fibre and 1g of salt. Obviously the salt level is very high in this but with the average standard stock cube having 5g of salt in it this is a slightly better alternative. Providing you don't add a stock cube like I did!
I do love using my slow cooker to create casseroles and stews in with ease. I admit to being a rather lazy cook really so will experiment with sachets of mixes and sauces and things and fling them into pots and leave them there with my fingers crossed I've created something edible. However when I read the back of the packet after getting it home I came to notice this isn't suitable for using anywhere back in an oven and was forced to actually use my oven!
The Asda sachets of mixes are something I purchase rather often and at 33p a packet or four for a pound (with lots of varieties to choose from) I pop four in my trolley to try out for me and my flatmate regularly.
I already knew I had some beef in the freezer and a few other bits and bobs around so when I spotted this one (that I hadn't seen before) I decided to give it a go and couldn't wait actually!
The paper, square pack is foil lined and has a photograph of a beef style casserole on the front of it and I am told that it is Asda, Beef In Ale Flavour Casserole Sauce Mix and that it contains no artificial colours, flavours or hydrogenated fat, that it is suitable for Vegetarians and for using in the oven only. On the back of the packet other information listed includes ingredients and allergy advice being given and a meal idea listed and being told how to cook it, there is a full nutritional chart shown, the size is stated (which is 37g), the best before date is clearly stated and contact details for Asda are listed. Nice easy to open packet/sachet this is and it is informative enough.
What you get is a pinkish coloured and fine powder and rather alot of it. To make the mix up you simply empty the contents of the packet with 3/4 of a pint of water and mix it well which really takes no effort at all. The idea then is to fry off beef and onions and some diced vegetables (the cooking idea says a couple of diced carrots) and then pour this mix over the top of it and pop it all in the oven for between 1 1/2-2 hours.
I found this mix easy to blend with water and the smell was a bit oniony (this does contain onion powder by the way) and I felt when I poured it on the ingredients I used (although I followed the instructions on how much of things to use) that there wasn't that much liquid really. However it thinned out over the cooking time and there was well enough to make up a meal for four people.
Both me and my flatmate had conflicting views on this mix. I felt it was tasty and it made a good stock type of gravy and I felt I could taste the malt this has within it slightly and that I could detect a slight taste of onions too. My flatmate felt that it was watery and when I asked her if it tasted anything like an ale type of gravy she laughed and said no.
Apart from the malty taste that is meant to give off a taste of ale and a slight taste of onion for me this was simply a gravy mix and blended with beef and other bits and pieces was nice enough but I agree with my flatmate it is nothing special. Give it a go though cos for the price you may like it!
Nutritional Information Per 1/4 (Cooked Casserole):
of which sugars: 5.8g
of which saturates: 1.3g
equivalent as salt: 1.0g
Only available in Asda stores costing 33p a packet or you can (at the moment) get any four Asda sauce mixes for a pound.