“ Brand: Colman's / Type: Sauces „
Having tried various other Colman's sauces (Colmans Chicken Curry being my favourite!) I decided to give the Beef and Ale Casserole sauce a go.
Price and availability:
They were on sale for 79p at my local Sainsbury's and you can find them in all good supermarkets. They often do 3 for 2 offers on the packet sauces too so look out for those.
It is a 45g packet that has a silver foil type lining to ensure maximum freshness of the product.
It is a dry mix, that has a combination of blended thyme, spices and ale.
How to cook:
You will need to buy 450g (1lb) of lean braising steak, one medium sized onion and 115g mushrooms. You cube the beef and slice the onion and mushrooms, placing them in an ovenproof casserole dish. Then seperately mix the sachet with 425ml water, then add this to the dish. Cover and cook for 1 and 1/2 hours.
**note** The first time I cooked this dish, I decided to throw it all in a slow cooker and leave it a couple of hours. It really didn't work! The beef was tough, can't understand why but it didn't have the desired effect. I still ate it though as I was hungry and the sauce still tasted nice!
The sauce has a lovely rich depth to it, the ale flavour isn't overpowering (which I was a little concerned about when I bought it) it's a nice consistency - perhaps if you like a thick gravy add a little less water than it advises, you can always splash a little more in at the end if you need to.
This is such a versatile sauce, you can have it with mashed potato ( add garlic puree, wholegrain mustard or spring onion to the mash for a really tasty meal with a difference) or you can have it with chips, or why not turn it into a pie by adding a pastry top over the casserole dish when there's 1/2 hour cooking time left.
It really is yummy, it's meant to serve four - but we're greedy in my house and we make 2 generous portions instead.
The mix is very easy, the instructions are simple to follow. However, as the casserole is cooking the dish smells like vomit. When finished the vomit like aroma disappears but the gravy/sauce tastes like vomit.Basically its the ruination of a pound of beef + onion + mushroomsI absolutely love beef in ale done correctly, this casserole mix doesn't do it correctlyI've given the casserole mix a star simply for simplicity of instructions and for the ease in mixing the casserole.
Having a 6 month old baby means I don't always have the time to cook really nice meals from scratch, I seem to be forever sticking chips and pies etc in the oven so I decided to buy some packets that would enable me to make some nice casseroles etc
When I was looking through the available sauce mixes I spotted the Colmans Beef & Ale sauce, the picture on the front of the packet looked very nice so I bought one and cooked it that evening.
The top half of the packet is brown with the Yellow and red Colman's logo, beneath the logo you have a picture of what the dish looks like (meat mushrooms in a sauce) then below that you have the contents (for one meal).
On the reverse of the packet you have the ingredients, how to cook instructions and the nutritional information. It also has a something special section that gives you a slight alternative to the cooking instructions which makes another tasty meal.
How To Cook
Firstly you need to have the following ingredients
1 Packet of beef and ale mix
450g lean braising steak
1 medium onion
425ml cold water
Simply preheat your oven to 180, put the beef, onions (sliced) and mushrooms (chopped) in an ovenproof dish, mix the sauce contents of the sachet with the water and pour over the beef, onions and mushrooms, cover and cook for 1 hour 30mins or until beef is tender.
Complete meal for one
Calories 209, Sugar 3.2g, Fat 6.8g, Saturates 2.9g and salt 1.2g
I absolutely love this sauce mix, because you cook it for a long time the beef is always so tender and the flavour is lovely, you can def taste the ale in this mix, the sauce is nice, thick and creamy, I think this would work very well as a pie.
The colour of the mix is a dark brown (gravy like) and even though it thickens up quite a lot you still get plenty (which is good for me as I love my gravy). I find that this sauce works very well with either good old mash or even roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings with a bit of veg.
As I said having a small child means I don't always have the time to cook so these mixes are the perfect solution for me, I just bung in all the fresh ingredients and an hour and half later we have a lovely tasty meal. They don't cost the earth either, this particular packet mix cost me 74 pence (serves 4) and to be honest I wouldn't have a clue how to make something like this from scratch.
I now buy quite a few of these packets (various flavours) and love using them, it makes my life so much easier and I feel like we are having good food rather than chips and pies etc all of the time.