Saturday 29 May 2021

Plant-based Beef - Steak and Strips

Plant Pioneers (Sainsburys): No Beef Steaks - ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆

Chilled / 2pk / 227g / approx £3

These are made from mushroom and wheat gluten, and surprisingly also coconut milk. Appearance-wise these look very succulent and steak-like. Once you cut in, the inside looks quite dense, smooth and processed, but when you bite into it, the texture and flavour are remarkably authentic. I was so surprised at how good they are. Brilliant.

Update: We bought these a second time and I'm not quite as enthusiastic about these as the above text sounds. The coconut flavour seemed to come through a little more which I didn't really enjoy. (I've reduced the stars down to four)

Meatless Farm: Plant-based Steaks - ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆

Chilled / 2pk /

These cooked well and have a firm meaty texture. The flavour does have room for  improvement. The biggest thing to note about these would be that overall the texture and bite is much closer to liver than it is steak. Still they were nice enough to buy again.

Quorn: Vegetarian Peppered Steaks - ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆ (not vegan)

Chilled / 2pk / 196g / Approx £3

The peppery flavour is great and the steak itself is very tender. If you were trying to mimic an actual steak these would probably go down as being way too tender. I mean, the tenderness makes them quite nice to eat, but it doesn't feel like you are eating an actual steak. However, we've had them many times and always enjoyed them for what they are. The biggest downside is that they are not vegan.

Vivera: Plant Steak - ⭐⭐☆☆☆

Chilled / 2pk / 200g / Approx £3.50

Made from soya and wheat protein. The front of the pack says 'bloody delicious', I believe this is in reference to the steak 'bleeding' while it is cooking. This gimmick doesn't impress me in the slightest and is probably aimed at vegan-curious meat-eaters who may get a kick out of the effect in the pan. Anyway, The appearance and the texture is really good. However there is a problem. The recipe also contains coconut oil, which I don't dislike, but the flavour is totally overpowering rendering the food almost inedible. I pushed through and finished it (slathered in ketchup to mask the flavour) because they were fairly expensive and I didn't want to throw them away. The two stars I've given these are for the appearance and texture. No surprises here but they won't be on my shopping list again.

Taste & Glory: No-Beef Strips - ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆

Chilled / 

Like the Quorn steaks above, these were also very tender, which makes them less beef-like than if they had a tougher/firmer texture. Still they were pretty decent and I have no real complaints. I used these once straight from the bag and the next time I warmed them up in a pan. They are definitely better when they are warmed. To be honest, beef strips are not really something that is high on my list of things to buy as the meals I tend to eat are not really beefy, but if I needed some beef strips, these would be fine. Overall, they were fine, but I wasn't blown away by them.

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