Prime Beef, slow cooked to deliver a true roast flavour.
Beef(78%), Water, Salt, Modified Starch (1412), Stabilisers (451, 508, 450), Thickeners (407a, 415), Acidity Regulators (262, 331), Antioxidant (316), Caramel.
Made in New Zealand from imported and local ingredients.
Roast beef is one of my partner's most favourite meals, but sadly for him it is not one that I ever seem to cook, mainly due to the fact that I always find that roast beef seems to be rather tough and fatty neither of which are to my liking, so when I saw that there was a roast beef available in the Farmlands range to review I decided it would be absolutely worth trying out as it could work as a good compromise in the future for when my partner is asking for roast beef!
Like all of the other products in the Farmlands the meat comes in a plastic package which is clear and see-through with a label to the left-hand side of the product, each product has a bold coloured background to represent the meat in the pack, and knowing this colour guide is great when browsing through the supermarket shelves as the colors make them very easy to spot on the shelves, the roast beef has a black label. I love how you can clearly see the product you are buying through the plastic before purchasing so that you know exactly what you are getting. Looking through the package the roast beef was a dark brown colour, and looked just like how a sliced roast beef would look but with perhaps thinner slices!
I had initially thought up several ideas of how I planned to use this meat such as in sandwiches and to make a pie, however, when my partner saw the roast beef he was quick to say "are we having roast beef for dinner?". At that moment my plans went out the window as we were now having roast before in its place! I spent the afternoon chopping up vegetables which I then placed in the oven with a drizzle of oil and a sprinkling of roast veg mix. When they were cooked I served them up on a plate and distributed the roast meat evenly between 3 plates after having heated it for 45 seconds until hot in the microwave. Lashings of gravy was poured over the meat and roasties and dinner was served, the quickest roast meal I have ever made! The meal was eaten super fast, and my partner said it tasted just like a roast beef should only with thinner slices of meat, he said he would happily eat it again! Miss 6 clearly loved it too as it vanished from her plate.
I will be buying this meat again fast and convenient to use and tasty too, it's not full of lot's of flavours but roast beef never is.
Out of all the meats we've tried and reviewed, this was the least favourite, unliked by all. The nice, clear packaging means you can see exactly what you are getting. The net weight is 100 grams and could have easily done with smaller packaging, since it's all squished up together anyway... The packaging is easy to open, a big plus for my youngest who struggles opening packets like this, however a negative of this is that it rips, so either you need to eat it in one go or hope you can find the lid for a matching container. The use by date was nice and easy to find.
Tasting this, two of my kids quickly decided that they didn't like it at all, one of them even going so far as to spit out what was in their mouth and both giving their leftovers to the cat. My other child was a little more inquisitive, eating half the piece whilst trying to work out why they didn't like it and eventually settling on it being the fact that it tasted too similar to ham, which they absolutely hate. I personally found that this was rather similar to the taste of ham and found that I didn't like the taste at all. For me it was a tad too salty and tasted a tad too oily, both of which left me feeling a little nauseous after trying a piece. I did add a little to my toasted sandwich but still didn't enjoy it at all and it left me not wanting to finish my meal. Sadly this was a miss for our family and isn't a product we will be buying.
Another deli meat, another plastic package that is twice as big as it needs to be. the easy-tear tab is definitely that with the plastic sheet ripping in half meaning I couldn't cover the meat afterwards. I guess it'll have to turn into one portion.
This is one of the few types of meat in the range that aren't smoked. A such, the meat has that more natural brown colouration that we are used to with cooked beef. The main ingredients listed are 78% beef and water, so a lot of ice must have been used during the processing. Nothing unexpected there. What was a little unexpected was the last item on that ingredients list; Caramel which one would assume is to add a touch of sweetness and smoothness to the flavour and combat any acidity.
In general, the product is nothing spectacular, neither is it anything bad. It tasted pretty much like every other sliced roast beef I have ever tried from a deli. As this is a slice of processed meat and not actually just a cut of beef that has been sliced, there is no texture to be lost by adjusting how thin the slices are.
So the only real point of difference between this and other roast beef products would come down to the cost and shelf-life. In that regard, this product is actually quite expensive, nearly double the price of the supermarket deli counter product. Looking at shelf-life though, this product obviously comes out on top due to the airtight packaging which extends its shelf-life considerably (obviously you still only get a couple of days once it is opened).
Too thinly sliced for me to find it a good option for a roast dinner, but it would work well with sandwiches and wraps, or with the likes of Branston pickle on crackers. Good for a snack, but lacks the depth of flavour to fill me up for a full meal.
When I buy a prepackaged meat product, I expect that some kind of rearrangement of the raw product will have taken place. I assume that the slices will be softer than the original product and will be both free of gristle and uniform in colour. It was fantastic to find that this product really is beef in its original just-roasted state. Fine sliced it may be, but it is authentic unadulterated beef. There are some additives (to keep it fresh and to preserve texture) but these are kept to a minimum; the meat content is 91% and at least some of the rest would be water.
I thought the price was reasonable considering that there was plenty to feed two hungry people. I would like to see it available in a 250 pack as well - that would feed a group of between four and six people, and would be less wasteful in terms of packaging. While the packs are attractive, easily stacked, and illustrated with all the information needed to let buyers know what they are getting, they are still made of plastic. A larger pack would not need much more packaging; this would be a bonus for the environment.
Having decided that this was the real thing, there was nothing for it but to make a "proper" roast dinner. I had some freshly dug potatoes which would roast beautifully, and some mashed kumara in the fridge from an earlier meal, so all I needed to do was to add gravy, a little red jam, some more vegetables, and (of course) the compulsory roast beef accompaniment - Yorkshire pudding! Because the meat was already cooked, I had the whole meal ready within half an hour. Just to complete the occasion, it was our coldest autumn evening of the season. There was plenty for two of us to enjoy a hearty meal: washed down, of course, with a generous helping of red wine.
Apart from the one piece I ate when I first opened the packet, I used the rest of the contents for my roast dinner, so I did not have the opportunity to try another couple of possibilities. However, I have always liked roast beef with stir fried chestnuts and rice noodles, so that is something I will experiment with when I get another packet. I would also like to try it on a roll with green salad and a side of hot chips; simple but very nice for an impromptu meal. There are so many possibilities.
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