* Prices may differ from that shown
During the week my Wife and I tend to try and stick to quick and easy to prepare meals and that is why Chilli Con Carne forms a regular part of our weekly routine. It makes for a reasonably quick and easy meal to prepare without too much forethought, which given the hours we both work is ideal. It would be fair to say that over the years we have tried various brands of Chilli and although none of them have been anything other than nice we seem to keep gravitating back towards the Homepride version of this cook in sauce.
It would be fair to assume that most people will have seen the Homepride band in their local supermarket as the brand expands from flour to cook in sauces. The packaging has the very distinctive dark blue labelling with Fred the Flourgrader somewhere on the packaging looking out at you. The company was founded in 1920 and is probably one of the biggest producers of this type of product in the modern British market place.
I Feel Like Chilli Tonight
With a respected brand it is easy to know that the product you have bought is a decent quality and will certainly be enjoyable. The instructions on the tin give a recommended cooking time of 20 minutes, which is easily enough. Firstly though you've got to brown your mince before you add the cook in sauce and the anticipation of the chilli is certainly heightened as the scent of the browning mince drifts from the pot.
In each 500g jar of Chilli there is normally enough to feed 4 people and we certainly get 2 uses out of each jar for the two of us. The jar shows the contents off and the dark colouring looks very inviting as does the picture on the label. The lid on the jar comes off very easily and reapplies just as easily. Once the jar is open the scent of chillis really takes hold and adds to the anticipation that the scent of the browning mince had already created.
Once the mince has browned and you've poured in the desired amount of cook in sauce it requires only the occasional stir as the mince and cook in sauce continue to cook. We normally only cook the two for the recommended 20 minutes, but it can be left to cook a little longer if that is what you want. In fact we have once cooked it in the slow cooker for 7 hours and the taste didn't vary much from our normal 20 minute cooking process. As it cooks the delicious scent of Chilli becomes a lot more prominent and starts to take over.
The sauce itself has a very prominent Tomato base to it with a mixture of onions, kidney beans and spices, including chilli, added to the mix. The scent this combination of flavours creates is very appetising and certainly adds to the appeal and anticipation when it comes time to eat it. When it comes to serving we have found that rice and tortilla chips are the perfect accompaniment and seem to really compliment the taste of the Chilli really well.
The Taste Test
Of course the scent and appealing aromas of food are all well and good but the real proof is in the taste test. One of the key things for us is how spicy a chilli is as Jen really can't stand spicy foods. She is ok with mildly spicy but if it's too hot she really doesn't like it. Thankfully we find that this Homepride sauce is just right, it gives a slightly spicy kick to it but it isn't overwhelming. The sauce itself gives the mince a nice tomato tasting base, whilst the chillis although very prominent don't make the food taste too spicy or hot. The onion compliments the tomato base of the sauce really well and the combination of these two elements and the mixed spices really gives it a very tasty overall flavour.
Certainly No Con
Since we started to eat Chilli on a regular basis it would be fair to say that the Homepride cook in sauce has become one of our favourites. Whilst we've tried the likes of Morrisons and Tesco's own there is a slight taste difference that the Homepride version just seems to get right. Whether this is down to a special ingredient or a different blend I couldn't say but it's by far and away the best mild chilli we have tried so far. The sauce isn't overly spicy and that results in a very pleasant dining experience, especially when you can get 4 decent sized servings out of a 500g jar for only £1.34.
Of which 6.6g Sugar
Both myself, my flatmate and my boyfriend love the occasional spicy meal and the other day when I spotted this cook in sauce on sale in Asda at a pound a jar instead of its usual retail price of about £1.50, I decided we would have it to make a nice chilli up as its a favourite of all of ours.
The sauce comes in a see-through glass jar and has a blue twist on/off lid to the top of it. Around the jar there is a label and on the front of that we are shown a chilli meal and told that it is Homepride Chilli 'Rich & Warming' and there is an at a glance nutritional chart shown. Other information on the back of the jar includes a recipe suggestion, ingredients of the sauce are stated (this is a Vegetarian sauce by the way), there is a full nutritional chart stated as well as the size of the sauce which is 500g and should make 4 portions of food and contact details for The Premier Food Group are given (the manufacturer of the product). Nice enough jar this is, easy to open and close etc and informative enough.
The Sauce itself:
The sauce is a very dark red colour with a rich smell of tomatoes to it and a really huge smell of oergano to it too and it is a pourable sauce with lots of dark green flecks of herbs throughout it (this also contains parsley) and you can see a couple of kidney beans throughout the sauce along with small shreds of red pepper and onion.
To use this sauce all you do is fry off the ingredients you want to use in your chilli first. On the back of the jar for four potions we are told to use 500g of lean minced beef but of course you add say onions to that for extra crunch or use say Quorn or vegetables for a Vegetarian option. Add this to pre-fried off food, stir it in and leave it to simmer on the hob for about 20 minutes and then serve it.
We found this sauce to be really rich and tasty. It has a natural taste of tomatoes to it blended well with a hint of the herbs I have previously mentioned and garlic. It is reasonably mild in hotness as the hotness seems to come come from the red pepper added as there is no chilli or anything listed on the ingredient list. The peppers, onions and the kidney beans are also well cooked though there really arnt very many kidney beans in it sadly.
This is a clingy to food sauce, theres plenty of it, it looks interesting tastes great and is easy to use. It doesn't taste greasy or too hot but at the same time remains a tangy chilli sauce!
Nutritional Inforamtion Per 1/4 Jar:
Available in all good supermarkets etc.
I love to cook from scratch but there are times when I am at work until late in the evening and want to come home to something quick and simple. Therefore, I stocked up on the Homepride sauces when they were buy 1 get 2 free at my local Sainsburys store.
This sauce comes provided in a glass jar with a paper label and this can be recycled. There is a press down indicator on the lid so you can check that the seal has not been tampered with. The label will give all the usual cooking instructions which I tend to skim over and then just cook until I know it's done.
To make this chilli I browned off some onions & rice in a pan before adding this sauce and just leaving it to simmer for around 30 minutes and then I turned on my rice cooker and left the chilli turned down as low as possible while I waited for my rice. In total, after browning the mince, my chilli cooked for around 45 minutes and it was just perfect when I served it up although you can make this in 30 minutes and it still be cooked sufficiently.
This sauce is quite a rich tomato sauce with a kick to it. The sauce also contains onions, kidney beans and quite a few different herbs and spices to give it lots of flavour.
The chilli smelt delicious while it was cooking and it was absolutely delicious when dished up. The spices were warming but not so spicy that I was gulping down fluids. There was a deliciously rich tomato taste and the spice is mild enough to suit most tastes but you could also add some extra spice yourself to give it that kick that some people love.
I personally would like this sauce to have some extra spice but it's definitely a good base and it's ideal for serving up to the younger members of the family who aren't accustomed to spicy foods yet.
Each 1/4 jar (125g) contains 72 calories, 6.6g sugars, 0.8g fat (0.1g of which saturates), 0.9g salt. Overall I would say that this is quite reasonable as in my household we probably enjoy around 1/4 of the sauce and then freeze one or two portions. The sauce is not as healthy as making your own chilli but it's a wonderful time saver for me as I can literally get home and start making dinner immediately then be eating a delicious meal within the hour.
I have been very impressed with the quality of this chilli sauce as well as others in the range and I will definitely be purchasing them again in the future as they are very convenient and have a very long shelf life too meaning I can stock up when they are cheap and not worry about wastage. Also, if I want to pack out my freezer then this is an easy meal to make that can be frozen afterwards and just defrosted one portion at a time or however many I require.