I hesitated between Lidl's chilled cottage pie at £1..49 and this frozen meal at 99p, but I fancied lamb, so went for the cheaper one.
Although the lamb was nice, I regretted it, as you can see from the disadvantages listed. The potato let it down more than anything, it was very watery and tasteless.
This is the most disgusting thing I have eat for a long tine, I never eat ready meals and I have been fully reminded why, yuck
One day a week we allow ourselves a "lazy day" when it comes to cooking, and this week I thought I'd try this Bisto Shepherd's Pie. It was only £1 from Tesco (alarm bells probably should have started ringing at this point!), and had high hopes that being Bisto it would be pretty tasty- as far as ready meals go.
It cooks in 40 minutes from frozen, and came out of the oven looking pretty appetising - Good amount of gravy, mash, meat and the odd pea and carrot. The portion size was also ok - Just the right amount for me, but for a man or someone who has a larger appetite I think it would be on the small side.
Unfortunately thats where the positives end for me. I'm not someone that puts salt and pepper on food, so it may have been better with seasoning. But I found it very bland. There was no creaminess to the potato, which basically tasted of water. Surprisingly the gravy also tasted very bland - None of the full flavour that you get with the Bisto gravy granules. And the peas had a sort of bitter aftertaste. However the texture of both the meat and potato were fine, and to be fair it did fill me up well.
I'm under no illusion that ready meals should be gourmet grub, and wouldn't expect anywhere near this for a pound. But I would expect a bit of flavour, and next time will go back to Tesco's own Shepherd's Pie which in my opinion are far nicer.
I often buy this Ahh Bisto Shepherds Pie along with their Cottage Pie which is equally as tasty. Its the value of it that is great; usually available for only a £1.00 at Asda. I havn't noticed it much in other supermarkets. Its incredibly easy to cook. Take it out of the box and peel the cover off; then pop in the oven for around 45 minutes. Thats it!. It is made with 100% Minced Lamb an its fairly low in calories, only 341 per box.
It is described as ' A Classic Shepherds Pie made with minced lamb, carrots and peas in a thick gravy & topped with mashed potato. The Gravy is very thick and very flavoursome. The minced Lamb and vegetables included are plentiful and the meal itself is very filling. I always have this with Broccoli and some added Gravy works well with it.
Potato Mash; Reconstituted Dried potato, Whey protein (from Milk), Yeast extract, White pepper, Colour (Curcumin)
Minced lamb Gravy ( 47%) contains Water, Lamb (34%), Carrot (3%), Onion, Peas (2%), Modified maize starch, Leek, Celery, Lamb flavouring, Caramelised sugar (Wheat), Lamb stock, Yeast extract, Black pepper.
Lamb flavouring contains Maltodextrin, Salt, Sugar, Flavouring
Lamb stock contains Yeast extract, Water, White wine vinegar, Sugar, Lamb extract, Tomato purée, Onion powder, Lemon concentrate, Herb.
This great tasting Shepherds pie contains No artificial preservatives, No artificial colourings, No hydrogenated fats and is a good source of Protein.
This a hearty delicious meal worthy of 4 Dooyoo stars in my opinion.
We all have those days when we don't fancy cooking a full meal from scratch, and these shepherds pies are perfect for those days!
~~ The packaging ~~
The "Aah Bisto, shepherds pie" is packaged in a dark green box. It has a huge "Aah Bisto" logo on the front of the box, with a big picture of a nicely cooked Shepherds pie. The pie is described as "A classic shepherds pie made with minced lamb, peas and carrots in lashings of thick gravy, topped with mash potato. Based on a traditional British recipe".
On the back is the cooking instructions, nutritional values and ingredients.
~~ The product ~~
The shepherds pie is housed in a black plastic tray, with a polythene lid. Each shepherds pie is a 375g, 1 person serving. The pie feels quite large and a generous portion.
You can cook this shepherds pie two ways, in the oven for 50 minutes, or in the microwave for around 10 minutes. I always cook mine in the oven, as I like it when the mash potato topping goes nice and crispy.
~~ The taste ~~
This shepherds pie smells lovely when you get it out of the oven. It smells just like gravy, a really nice rich meaty smell.
I'd say you get around roughly 50/50 mash potato, and mince gravy underneath. The lamb mince is of very good quality. The gravy makes it taste really rich and meaty, and the flavour is not bland at all. There are not many carrots and peas in this, but the taste is really nice and filling. I do find that one portion is very generous, so I normally end up eating these on their own, or with a bit of extra veg on the side!
The potato however, is slightly too bland. The top goes crispy in the oven, but the middle of the mashed potato is really soft with no 'bite' to it, and it just feels a bit mushy! It is however, an ok accompaniment to a good mince gravy. Because the taste of the mince is so good, I usually ignore the blandness of the potato.
~~ Nutritional information ~~
Per 375g serving:
Calories - 323.
Sugar - 4.1g
Fat - 9.4g
Saturated fat - 5.3
Salt - 2.39g
~~ Ingredients ~~
Potato mash (53%) Reconstituted dried potato, whey protein, salt, white pepper, curcumin.
Minced lamb gravy (47%) Water, minced lamb (34%), Carrot (6%) Onions, peas (3%), Leak, cornflour, wheat flour, yeast extract, celery, caramelised sugar syrup, black pepper.
Aah Bisto shepherds pie contains no artificial preservatives, colours or flavours.
~~ Price and where to buy ~~
These are available to buy at all of the major supermarkets. I have seen them on offer for around a pound recently, which is a great deal.
I'd definitely recommend having one in the freezer to try, especially when you don't fancy a lot of cooking.
I don't eat meat very often. I did up until rather recently when I started spending a lot of time with my Vegetarian mate but we went on a month long holiday in a small caravan and basically it was easier to cook the same things for two people so I didn't bother with it meat ages. Now we are at her house and I pretty much still eat Veggie food however from time to time I get me a ready meal or something I can eat for one that does contain some meat in it if I fancy it, and the other night boy did I fancy it and I bought this on special offer in Asda at only a pound! I couldn't wait to get it home to try it out to be honest as I do love a good, old fashioned Shepherd's pie occasionally!
Dark green box and on the front of it I am told that it is Ahh! Bisto Shepherd's Pie 'With lashings of gravy' and that it is a 'Classic Shepherd's pie made with minced lamb, peas and carrots in lashing of thick gravy, topped with mashed potato. Based on a traditional British recipe' and that the pie contains no artificial preservatives, colours or flavours, that it takes 50 minutes to oven cook it and that it serves one person and there is an at a glance nutritional chart shown. Other information on the back of the box includes heating instructions, ingredients and allergy advice, a full nutritional chart is displayed along with the weight being stated which is 375g and contact details for Premier Foods (the manufacturer of the product) are also given. Nice enough easy to open box and the black plastic squarish container inside is rather large and has a see-through plastic sheet type thing covering it.
The Shepherds Pie:
All you do to cook this is to remove the box and the see-through plastic covering from the top of the pie and put it in a pre-heated oven (in it's tray) for about 40-50 minutes, alternatively you can microwave it in about ten minutes. For food with potato on them I always oven cook them though even though it takes longer so the top browns and looks better though I'm sure it's be fine in the microwave apart from appearing anemic lol.
I was impressed when I first took it out the box at the size of it. Thickish and rather large to look at and once cooked it came out my oven piping hot, smelling of meaty gravy and the potato had indeed gone golden in colour with the gravy gently bubbling up at it sides giving it a really very tasty look indeed!
However although this tasted ok it was a bit of a let down really and I expected more from it considering the brand of it. Small bits of minced lamb was within it but it was all very fine although good quality and not one bit fatty. Tiny slithers of onion, about 2 peas in the whole thing and a few tiny shards of carrot was in there and to me the whole thing was rather plain and had no texture to it really. Sure there was enough gravy in it though I wouldn't say that it had lashes of it, just enough really and it was a seasoned and meaty tasting enough over-all. The mash was incredibly smooth and plain. All it was really though was dried potato and some seasoning and to me this appeared tastier than what it was really.
Ok for a quick meal but I wouldn't go mad for it. It only has 16% meat in it according to the information on the box although the meat was good quality. This needs more chunky ingredients in it, more seasoning and a lot more texture within it in my humble opinion!
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Available in all good supermarkets and in different flavours too!
I always like to have a couple of these Bisto Shephards Pies in the freezer for when I have had a busy day out shopping and get in starving. I just pop this into the microwave and a few minutes later I have a very tasty hot meal.
I used to eat the Weightwatchers Cottage Pies, but found them to be a bit on the bland side compared to this one that is very tasty, it must be the Bisto Gravy.
This Shephards Pie comes in a very attractive packaging which makes you want to eat it on the spot if your hungry ( but you can't because it is frozen!).
Coming in a 375g serving it is plenty for one person, although sometimes I do have some baked beans with it. Sitting in it's plastic tray with a a film lid on the top it looks very tasty with the deep lines going across the mash. You can cook this in a oven ( to get a crisp mash brush melted butter on top of the potato before cooking!), but that does take 50 minutes (190c/375f/Gas Mark 5) to cook and being that I only eat these when I'm short on time ( otherwise I would make my own Cottage Pie which of course is much better and tastier!) I tend to pop it into the microwave after I have stabbed the film lid a few times ( this makes the loudest noise which I get told off for as everyone thinks I'm trying to kill it!) and micro in a 800w oven for 5 minutes then remove the film lid and cook for a further 5 minutes, then leave to stand for 2 minutes. This gives me time to unpack all my shopping.
I usually eat this out of the tray that it comes in ( uncouth I know!) if I'm on my own, otherwise I would scoop out onto a plate. This smells good and looks good.
Once you put your fork into the pie you will release a thick runny gravy with cubed carrots and peas and a very tasty non grisly minced lamb comes running out from under the thick creamy mashed potato. This has a really rich bisto taste and comes second best to homemade ones that I have ever tried, apart from Weightwatchers I have also tried Asda's, Tesco's and Sainsbury's (before anyone points out I do release that they are Cottage Pies not Shephards Pie and that they are made with beef and not lamb, but I'm talking about the texture and taste factor!).
The mashed potato is very thick, but also very soft and creamy and by combining the potato and minced lamb together this tastes delicous. I think that there might be onion in this but it must be chopped up very finely as it isn't visable in the pie.
Being that these are not the healthest things to eat it isn't something I would recommend to eat on a regular basis, but for a once in a while quick snack then these are great!.
Each 375g serving contains;
Weightwatchers points in this is 7.
For allergy sufferers this does contain Milk, Wheat, Gluten and Celery, plus there is a warning that it may contain traces of nuts and seeds.
I buy mine in Morrisons when they are on special offer for only a £1.00 and usually stock up with a few, I believe that they usually sell for around £1.50.
I'll give this Bisto Shephards Pie 4 Dooyoo stars as I'm knocking one off as these are not particulary great for you to eat on a regular basis due to the high fat content.