Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Beef Roast with Red Wine & Shallot Glaze Review
I have tried many Linda McCartney products by now - the ‘basic’ sausages (yes, those succulent wonderful sausages!), red onion and rosemary sausages, 1/4lb burgers, pulled pork burgers, scampi bites… and I loved every single one of these products! They are all very high in protein, their caloric density is amazing, they are quick to prepare and really tasty. In a nutshell, I always held Linda McCartney foods to a higher standard, as it’s been around for quite some time now and never disappointed me.
I went to Morrisons yesterday to see if they had some new vegan products I can try. Among other things, I saw the Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian (it’s vegan though!) Beef Roast with Red Wine & Shallot Glaze (further in text shortened to: beef roast) and bought it as I haven’t tried it before, and this is my review:
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Where it’s great:
price, protein, fibre, calories
Where it’s not great:
misleading labelling/lack of glaze
My suggestions for improvement:
I would love there to actually be the sauce they advertised on the package and I would also love to see even less packaging.
I saw some people complain that the price is too high (£3.50 at Morrisons and Tesco), but it’s completely adequate. While real beef (yes, people still eat animals…) costs between £5 and £37 per kg, depending on various factors, Linda McCartney’s products range between £5 and £7 per kg. This beef roast is definitely on the cheaper side; plus it’s way healthier than any red meat you will ever consume. One more thing to keep in mind is convenience: this is the price for an almost ready to eat product - while you would have to season and cook real beef, you just have to pop this product in the oven and it’s ready once the timer goes off. 4 out of 5 because cheaper meats and mock meats do exist.
Many vegans tend to be mindful of the environmental impacts of their actions and I am one of them. The packaging of this beef roast is simple - carton card with branding and instructions and a metal tray for cooking. This is all recyclable and I love the convenience of the metal tray (less dishes to wash), but I could definitely do without it in order to reduce waste, recyclable or not. 4 out of 5 because I would love to see less packaging.
COOKING DIFFICULTY 4/5
It’s very easy to prepare this roast: pop it in the oven at 200C and let it cook for 45 minutes, then cover with foil and cook for 15 more minutes. I’m being very strict here by giving it 4 out of 5, but this is only because Linda McCartney seriously spoiled me (all their other products are cooked in much less time and without having to cover with foil in the end).
TASTE AND TEXTURE 3/5
One of the main things and probably why you’re here in the first place. I have to stress here that Linda McCartney has never disappointed me so far. Everything I tried, and I’ve tried lots of their products, has been delicious. This beef roast is good. It has a nice, subtle umami flavour. One thing I have a problem with is that it says on the packaging that there will be some glaze at the bottom once it’s done cooking, and that you should spoon the glaze on top before serving. There was no glaze whatsoever, and I’m not the only person who complained about that (Morrisons page reviews). The roast would definitely benefit from it, and I highly recommend to serve it with something on top - a dollop of BBQ sauce, some good old gravy or cranberry sauce. I put some BBQ sauce (didn’t drown it in the sauce, but really put a minimal amount) and the whole thing was delicious. I’m giving it 3 out of 5 because it’s marketed as though it’s outrageously delicious on its own and in its own juices, yet it’s not, as there are no juices! I would give it 4 out of 5 if it didn’t say that, because it really isn’t bad at all, but a bit misleading. But let’s be honest here, even meat products benefit from a glaze/gravy/condiments. I am really holding Linda to a high standard here, and I would give the whole range 5 out of 5 any day of the week!
I didn’t have any problems with the texture and I quite liked that it’s a bit different from the texture of their sausages, as I don’t like lack of creativity. It’s perfectly firm and perfectly bouncy, and I can’t remember the last time I had to set the table with a knife by my plate, so this made my ‘eating’ knives (is that how you call them?) feel like they have a purpose again.
How I served it?
Mmmm, the whole lunch was lovely. I pan fried some asparagus with garlic and I made my chive mashed potatoes. For some freshness I had a wee mixed leaf and cherry tomato salad on the side.
One thing I will never understand: WHY oh WHY are Linda McCartney products labelled as vegetarian, when they are mostly vegan? Do they not want to be associated with veganism?
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Love you all and hope the sun shines wherever you are!