For those not familiar, the packets are available in the sauces aisle and the packets look like sauce mixes. Little wonder, as all the familiar names are involved – Colman’s, Homepride etc. Whereas previously they were advocating you cooking your meat or fish and adding the sauce later, or alternatively an all-in casserole approach, the roasting bag puts all the ingredients in the bag and leaves them to cook.
The kits all have two portion packets. The first stage involves getting the bag out. These are surprisingly robust and you get a lot of bag in a remarkably small space. I had visions of shaking the bag and the whole lot coming through a split in the bottom…not so far. You get a small tie to close the bag with.
The next stage is to through the meat into the bag, add the spices and give it a shake. There are odd recommendations about what else to add as an alternative. It seems to me there are two things to bear in mind.
- To get an even coating the meat or fish needs to be dry so I always use kitchen towels before putting the meat in
- Moisture is everything. There is very little moisture escaping from the steamy environment and only the additional ingredients going in will affect the finished results. Obviously adding tomatoes is going to result in a much wetter finished product than carrots.
The results are pretty good I think for a convenience food. Most recently we had the Colman’s Lemon and Dill Salmon. I added some peppers rather than the suggested cherry tomatoes. It cooks for 25 minutes. The result was a piping hot bag of steam – be careful when you open it. The bag always stays pretty intact. It feels crispier than when it went in but I’ve not had a situation where everything spills out from all angles. I cut the top off the bag and I could then use a slice to lift the salmon steaks out and I could then left the remaining bag to pour out the ingredients – hence the sloppy presentation. The sauce is tasty but not necessarily in the way expected. The dill is fairly low-key while the lemon is good. I got some really zesty shots of lemon at various stages. I would say that the appearance is not that great. The salmon is coated in a powder which ends up looking greyish and maybe a flash fry to crisp up the skin side would have been better. Either that or a few sprigs of fresh dill on top!
Compared to the jars or cook-in-sauces I think this comes up with something healthier and lighter. There are no gooey sauces if that’s your thing. The lemon and dill sauce came out at around 300 calories all-in for a decent salmon steak I think – I never go by the serving suggestions on these things which seem quite stingy. Served with some basmatic rice with peas and sweetcorn it made a nice supper.
I particularly like the ones suggested for sausages – which otherwise end up being fried, and the Mediterranean chicken options.