Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Beef Roast with Red Wine & Shallot Glaze

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Contains: Wheat, Soya

Free from: Palm Oil, Nuts

Now THAT title is a mouthful. With Halloween just gone, it’s that Christmas time of year (and I’ll join our fellow punks, Marxists, socialists and anti-capitalists in groaning in distaste) which means one thing: roast dinner. No matter if you celebrate it or not, winter is a perfect time to be sat inside for a cosy roast, with maple roasted parsnips, garlic butter brussel sprouts and cranberry jelly but it’s always a cause for stress. For £3.50, Linda’s got you covered.

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I won’t lie, I didn’t expect my roast to come in a foil pastry tray. It’s not a problem (hell, there’s very few things that would get in the way of my food, foil is not one of them) but it was surely unexpected. It doesn’t really look appealing either, just a flat “meatloafy” log that someone’s slapped into a dish, hardly the rustic and mouth-watering meal you’re going for but don’t let that put you off. All in all, not off to a good start. Then I stopped all my moaning and shut up. Straight out of the oven it smells like glazed shallots and looks much much richer than the frozen TV dinner I was first greeted with. I figured I’d try some of it dry and some with gravy but you know what? I didn’t even need any. Its bottom is soaked in a hot, sticky, smoky red wine glaze and it retains so much moisture it’s like digging in to a drowned pigeon. The meat itself has the same crumbly texture of stuffing but it’s not as dry and isn’t going to suck all the water out of you. Instead it sits perfectly well in your belly with mouthfuls of syrupy sauce and hunks of “meat”.

Taste? Well, it doesn’t taste of meat or roast dinner and I’d be pretty damn horrified if it did. No, this is beyond that. It’s pretty non-offensive and doesn’t opt for strong flavours in itself but definitely bulks out your lonely collection of brussel sprouts, peas and carrots. It’s not there to add crazy flavour to your dish, just to soak up the gravy and add a little juice of its own (everyone loves a little of their own juice, right?)

I wouldn’t recommend trying this out for everyone at the dinner table. It’s no pork belly or turkey, but it’s damn good all the same. It doesn’t try to be identical to your meat and doesn’t go the other extreme of tasting like your uncle’s “famous nutroast”. All in all, Linda never disappoints and I’m shocked you even read this far before figuring it out Hail Linda, hail.

  • My Rating: 4/5
  • Omnivore Score: 3/5
  • Overall: 3.5/5

Find this product at: Tesco’s, Ocado, Saisnbury’s and Iceland.

 

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