Lean NZ Prime Beef, seasoned with natural spices then genuinely wood smoked for flavour and aroma that's just right.
Beef (92%), Water, Mineral Salts (451, 450), Acidity Regulators (331, 262), Antioxidants (316, 301), Preservative (250), Vegetable Gum (415), Natural Wood Smoked.
Made in New Zealand from local and imported ingredients.
Interestingly this product is one of the highest in the deli meat range in terms of meat content (92%). This makes it one of the least altered meats from its natural state, which I find quite funny. The product is smoked which gives it a rich pinky purple colouration. This smoked fee product also has a thick dark rind on it, which I would actually recommend cutting off and removing before consumption as it can have a tendency to catch in the throat unless you masticate rather intensively (read: a lot of chewing).
The packaging is very basic and is twice as big as it needs to be. It has a simple plastic sheet over the top of a thicker transparent plastic tray, sealing it shut, with a label sticker on the left side, and the right side left as a transparent window. The product has a reasonable thickness to the slices, which makes it very easy to peel away for use, and it holds its shape easily. The length of each slice is pretty close to the length of a slice of bread, so it's easy for sandwiches.
The flavour was rather subdued. If you ate a lot of it in a single bite there was a slight tang, but the flavour only really comes through, later on, gradually building in the aftertaste
The smoked beef did, however, work really well together with a smoked cheese on crackers. The two smoked flavours complement each other well, despite it being rather lacklustre on its own. So this does make it a reasonable product to purchase if you like to entertain guests, as the airtight packaging gives the product a reasonable shelf-life compared to non-packaged deli meats.
For myself, I prefer a meat that has full flavour on its own, as that lends itself to a greater variety of uses. So I won't find this on my shopping list anytime soon, but if I were to look at having a wine and cheese evening, who knows.
I don't think I've ever had pre-sliced, handy packs, of smoked beef before, so I was keen to give this a try. The packet is nice and clear, so you can see exactly what you are going to get and it looks like a nice cut of meat. The back lets you know that this should give you two servings and is fine, open, for five days. I liked how simple everything looked and the colour scheme of the labels goes well with the colour of the meat itself. Opening this up, it had a nice slight smokey aroma to it and I was pleased that I couldn't see too much fat on the slices.
My kids were all happy to give it a little sample and all three agreed that it tasted nice, I myself found that I could have happily eaten the entire packet in one sitting. I did manage to avoid that temptation and sliced up about half the packet, before mixing it in with spaghetti which was placed in an edible wrap bowl, topped with cheese and heated up. We all agreed that this added a nice flavour to the dish, it wasn't overpowering but there was no doubt that it was in there. The remainder of the meat was split between us on a simple sandwich of our choosing and we all agreed this was one product we want to buy again.
I have never tried smoked beef before so when I saw this product come up for review I decided that it was one I wanted to try, my partner loves anything beef related so I knew he, in particular, would probably love this! I myself was just hoping that it wasn't an extremely spicy product, which luckily it proved not to be.
The packaging on this product is great both easy to open and also I love that it has a clear plastic lid and base so that you can clearly see the product and the quality of it before buying. One thing that instantly caught my attention was the colour of the beef, I am used to beef being a deep brown colour once cooked, but this smoked beef had more of a red tinge to the brown, which I'm guessing has something to do with the smoking process throughout the cooking? The label is of a deep red/brown which is the perfect choice to reflect the product and I love how everything is clearly written to tell you what you need to know in regards to it.
Peeling back the plastic lid I was hit by a very strong smokey aroma of wonderful spices and from here I knew this product was going to be good. I gave my partner and I a slice of the meat each to try as is and we were both blown away by the amazing flavour that was within the thinly sliced meat, it was delicious! With 2 serves in the 100gram pack, there is a generous amount of meat and I couldn't wait to try it out in some various products! First up I decided to use it on a pizza, after dicing it up into good sized pieces I added it to a base of barbeque sauce, along with some spinach leaves, diced chicken and ham, topped lastly with some mozarella cheese. Wow, from my first bite I was impressed by the ammount of flavour that the smoked beef let off, it could be tasted through everything else and the delicious blend of spices made the pizza outstanding!
Next up I decided to make some basic wraps for lunch, spreading each wrap with a small ammount of mayonaise I added some lettuce, tomato, cucumber and cheese and lastly the smoked beef. Once again the smoked beef stole the spotlight with its taste sensation, it was lovely and flavoursome and my partner has asked that I buy it for him again as his new favourtie, move over ham and salami!
Again Farmlands have impressed me with one of their delicious cuts of sandwich meats, I can't wait to try mroe especially for such great value.
When we opened the pack, we were impressed by the strong smoky aroma that greeted us. Of all the products we have tried in this range, the wood smoke element in this one was the most impressive. Because of this, I thought I might try it out with my own fusion Surf'n'Turf recipe - something which needs a meat product that can hold its own against the other equally full-bodied ingredients. To make sure it would make the grade, I first removed two slices from the packet so we could sample them on their own. The taste matched the smell; spicy, smoky, and very meaty.
The dish starts off with a dozen cooked prawns - these are poached in a mixture of garlic and lime juice, and then wrapped individually in thin slices of strongly flavoured precooked meat. The rolls are secured with toothpicks. The meat and prawn rolls are then added to a bed of hot laksa noodles and decorated with sliced peppers (I used a combination of green and yellow). When we took our first taste, we were both delighted to find that the various elements of the dish had all retained their individual taste; the prawns had not affected the smoky taste of the beef at all.
I had three slices of beef left, so I put them into a sandwich and added a little coleslaw. We had half each and once again agreed that the beef more than held its own with the acidity of the slaw. I can see that there could be lots more ways of using the product, something I will be investigating when I get another packet. My friend suggested that we might try it with olives and cherry tomatoes as an entree, and that is certainly worth considering.
Given that one 100-gram packet (two servings) contains 517 KJ and just 1.8 grams of saturated fat, the product is reasonably healthy for those on a restricted diet. It is also lower in salt than most processed meats. It is useful to know that this is a product that can be safely eaten by those who are watching their food intake. "Convenience" foods are not always so user-friendly. I also noticed that the first two slices we had tried (on their own) were not at all greasy; they were quite dry and very tasty - something that could easily be eaten as is without any additions at all. Although the chilled shelf life is generous, I cannot see it lasting in my fridge once it is opened. I suspect that might be the case for others who try it as well!
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