Beef mince and garlic, combined with our sweet (but kicking) chilli sauce, encased in our handmade, flakey, golden pastry.
I cooked our chilli beef sausage roll up today as part of our lunch. I split the sausage roll between myself and my husband. I thought from reading other reviews, that the chilli might be too hot for Miss 2. Miss 7 needs her food to be quite bland so I didn't dare offer her any. My husband is really into chilli at the moment and has so many hot sauces in the fridge that well take my head off whenever I try a drop.
He said the flavour of the sausage roll was good, but it wasn't as hot as he might have hoped. I found that the heat from the chilli was a good level. I still got that very slight sweat on the brow, but it wasn't painful at all. What I liked was that I could see the flecks of chilli throughout the sausage meat. Other than that, the sausage meat was full and hearty. I felt full after my half a roll, though I am sure my husband would have happily polished the whole thing off.
The pastry on the roll was delicious. It had that buttery crisp taste. Though it did crumble a fair bit as I was eating the sausage roll. This left me with some very tasty morsels on my plate, which I cleaned up afterwards. I just love pastry, and the Maketu pastry is so good. I think these would make a great lunch for taking to work. You could just buy a couple to keep in the freezer at work or home for when the mood takes you. Depending on the price it could be a very reasonable answer to the question "what's for lunch?" If you felt like it, you could also serve it with mixed vegetables and a pile of cheesy mashed potatoes for a hearty sort of dinner too.
My son loves sausage rolls and he got very excited when he saw that we have a sausage roll to share for dinner. He didn't know that it was a chilli one, so we thought that we would wait and see what he thought. My husband cooked the Chilli Beef Roll as per the instructions on the packet. He thawed it prior to cooking.
I sliced the roll up in order to share it. This actually made nice bite sized pieces to eat. In fact, this would be a nice way to eat it as there would be less mess from the pastry.
I gave a slice to my son. His initial reaction was that he loved it. Within a few seconds, he changed his mind. He realised that it had chilli in it. "Yuck...I need something to make it go away". So, a total fail for my son. This wasn't a surprise but we do believe in trying everything in our family! Miss Two was much more successful. She loved it and kept asking for more. She has much more adult tastes than Mr Four.
Both my husband and I loved it. I did find that the initial taste wasn't spicy and it took a moment or two for the spice to hit. I enjoyed it.
I don't tend to buy sausage rolls but this one made me consider having some in the freezer for those times when we need a quick meal for the family. I will need to check if there is a non-spices option for Mr Four.
Not a great fan of this one myself, but some of the whanau I was staying with finished it off for me and told me they thought it was pretty good, if a little short on the chilli flavour they were all expecting. It was a decent size and the pastry was some of the best I have eaten in many years. It didn't even hurt my gums.
I am going to take a guess at the price and assume it is something around the same as the other super sized sausage rolls out there, and I think this is pretty good value if I am right. There's a good feed in this for one person and a nice snack for two. Even though it wasn't my thing, I can see these boig good as either a small meaty side to a nice bowl of kumara, kura, chicken and greens. Solid hangi kai.
If you want something filling that you can eat while you drive, this is a good one to check out. You should be able to buy this at most petrol stations I think. Been a while since I was last behind the wheel though so I don't really know what is available any more. A friend recently told me he stopped at a gast station for a pie and there was just a big cabinet of gourmat stuff. All fancy meats and spice sprinkles and stuff. None of the easy to eat pies any more, so I might be wrong on that one eh.
I really wanted to love this, but no matter how I look at it I just can't do more than kinda-like it. It is definitely a decent feed, weighing in at 145 grams of meatiness and silky-smooth pastry, it has flavour and a good texture... but the one thing I dearly hoped for, it was lacking... that chilli kick, some amount of burn, spicy heat... call it what you will, I found this to be a little too 'flat' a flavour for my tastes.
Now, to put that in perspective, I do like spicy food. In my younger and somewhat less rational days I would happily proclaim "If it's not trying to melt it's way through the plate, it's not spicy enough!" - my taste buds took years to recover from that insane patch of my life - hallmarked by a steady diet of Turkish kebabs with sauces on them made especially for me by a somewhat cheerfully-deranged staff member at the local foodcourt, perfectly balanced somewhere between napalm and lava, designed to ensure constipation would never be an issue for me.
Nowadays I prefer a spice-heat still somewhere above the average Kiwi norm, but far, far short of those lofty mega-thousand-scoville days. Thus, anything proclaiming "chilli" in it's name needs to have some decently detectable heat to it. The Maketu Chilli Beef Pies certainly do, so I was expecting these to be somewhat similar. To be fair, these would be, as far as I can tell, somewhat spicy to regular Kiwi taste buds... so I suspect they are indeed on the higher end of tolerable for most folks. Good for them. That's why I give them an 8/10 for taste, instead of my "personal" rating of about 6/10.
Overall, this roll is probably not going to end up on my shopping list much. I may buy a few now and then, when I want something a little more filling than a regular sausage roll, but only if I have some nice chilli sauce handy, to boost the -zing- up to where I like it.
I must say, pies, I have tried LOTS of them, but sausage rolls, I haven't had that many, for 1 key reason: they are disgusting. The meat is just small scraps of something that may have once been meat but has been processed and refined into paste, mixed with fatty substances the consistency of hydrated gel crystals, I usually can't finish a whole roll without feeling sick nowadays. This roll, however, was different, for it actually had a flavour and texture that I liked. The meat was still a bit starchy, but it wasn't heavy and sickening. It was rich, full of flavour, and when I took a bite it felt a lot less like I was eating a tube of fatty paste, it felt like just finely shredded meat!
The pastry was soft, it wasn't rock-hard like some pastries used in this particular branch of food products, and while it had a slight flake to it, the pastry didn't all fall off onto either the plate or all over my lap, or BOTH! In comparison, I have to say that this is a better roll than any other I have tried, it was far better quality, and taste-wise it excelled far further than I expected it to. The meat also had some mild spice to it, but it blended well with the overall flavour, so it didn't stand out this much, only enough to make things a bit more interesting.
I think that these rolls will do well as a snack to have on the road, as well as making a most satisfying complement to a meal. The price is well given, it makes this product affordable, but still reflects the value of the product well enough, although for something of this quality, I would have thought that it would have been a bit more expensive, so I will give this product a 9/10 on the aspect of value for money.
Since no one else in the house wanted to try this, it was all left to me, though in the end my friend decided that she would eat a small piece of the roll.
The Chilli Beef Roll is a decently sized roll, looking at it, even after giving some to my friend, I would have to say that serving wise, it is a really good size, nice and filling and over all it is the perfect size for a sausage roll type dish. The pastry is nice a flaky, browned really nicely in the oven with no burning or drying out too much, it did have a slight oily taste but is better than other brands on the market. When it comes to flavor and the promise of chilli I found that it wasn't too spicy for my tastes and it fitted perfectly with the meat giving a really nice flavor to the whole dish without one flavor overpowering anything else in the dish.
I would happily buy this again because it was a really nice sausage roll, which is something I don't usually say about these types of rolls as most leave an icky aftertaste in my mouth, but not in this case.
I wasn't too sure about trying this due to the chilli but I do like spicy food when I'm in the mood for spicy so thought that a small serving would be best. I'm glad that I didn't have to eat the entire roll to myself as I found that the spicy feeling in my mouth did start to burn a bit near the end.
A few improvements would make me buy this sausage roll again, one would be to have smaller servings as I was too fill on the small bit I had (about three mouthfuls) or at least the option to have a small and a large and I would prefer to have some vegetables added as I found the meat just a bit too much on its own. The one thing I was worried about was that the chilli would set my mouth on fire but it was so mild that I managed to eat my piece and found that I rather liked it.
I personally wouldn't buy this sausage roll again as I found it a bit too big (I did get to see the size before it went into the oven) and it left a bit of an after taste in my mouth and when I burp it is not too pleasant.
I find in general that sausage rolls are very dry, which is why they are usually better in smaller sizes (higher surface area compared to volume, means more tomato sauce coverage). So when I saw this item, I noticed it was on the larger side, and was rather intrigued as to how it would turn out.
One of the main points to mention is the cooking instructions. They specify how to cook them in the oven, but say that microwave cooking is not advised. This was both a great thing, and a frustrating point. It is great, because it showed me that the company do care about quality, and therefore give you instructions to optimise the flavour of the product. However, this meant that it required a lot longer to prepare than most competing products, so I could only have this meal on a day that I was guaranteed to save the time set aside to properly bake it in the oven.
Cooking aside, I did find it a little dry. The pastry was nice and crispy, but still lined my mouth with dry flakes. The filling was moister than other brands that I have tried previously, but still was too dry to have as a standalone snack. Luckily, I was prepared, with my vegetable side dish which provided some extra moisture to the meal.
The flavour of the product was interesting. I found that while the overall product had a little noticeable chilli flavour, it was rather inconsistent through the roll. Therefore some mouthfuls were decidedly different in taste to others. But it still provided a new flavour.
While it was an enjoyable product, I'm unsure whether the improvements are really worth the extra effort that is required to prepare them. Sausage rolls have never been a "meal" for me, so preparing them as one, seems odd.
I was lucky enough to be given one of these to review. I took one look at it and decided it would be the perfect lunch for me to take to work... until I realised that it wasn't recommended to microwave it. I'm aware this is standard for a pie or sausage roll, however it would have been nice to have some sort of indication on how long to microwave it for should we wish to go against culinary advice and put up with soggy pastry for the sake of having a sausage roll fix at work.
Anyway I have to say I did end up microwaving it, so I won't be able to comment fairly on the texture of the pastry. (Although in saying that, I thought it turned out pretty nice anyway)
As far at the taste of the pie - I actually really liked it. I wasn't sure how much of a chilli hit to expect, but I was pleased to find it wasn't too overpowering, but was enough to leave a long lasting zingy taste in my mouth. I could see herbs and onions in the meat also, and really liked the overall taste and texture. I was pleased to note that the sausage roll didn't leave a greasy feeling at the top of my mouth as cheap sausage rolls can. And it was a decent size - it definitely filled me up!
I'd happily have these in the freezer ready for something easy to grab for lunches... and I'd happily microwave it again for the sake of a quick and easy lunch on the go.
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