This is a review post.
Last week Asda approached me and asked if I’d be interested in trying their new BBQ range that has been developed after they competed in the world BBQ championships in Memphis.
I was in 2 minds whether to accept this review post or not; on the one hand it’s free BBQ meat which is hard to say no to but on the other hand this kind of meat doesn’t really fit in with my buying principles does it? One of my biggest issues with buying supermarket meat is that it is generally very hard to figure out exactly where the meat has come from. Labels require some translation to understand what the various quality marks mean and therefore how the animals have been treated.
But having talked this through with Asda I decided to accept and see if I could be proved wrong. Asda’s approach to sourcing their meat is to buy British first, so doing well so far, they do however top up from abroad to meet demand. This means that around 99% of the beef is British, and their pork is 60% British and the rest from the Netherlands. Not so great and of course a very small amount of that meat is free range based on what they have on the shelves in store.
So they don’t score top marks ethically, what about taste which is probably what the majority of the British population pays attention to anyway. Well we tried a number of things from the range including the Butcher’s Selection sweet BBQ pulled pork, BBQ beef brisket, sticky glazed BBQ chicken drumsticks and cherrywood smoked ribs. Plus some BBQ classics in the form of Extra Special Scottish beef burgers and Extra Special pork sausages.
All sounds delicious doesn’t it? Well judging by the mmm’s and ahhh’s coming from around the table I think everyone tended to agree. The ribs were a particular favourite with Henry with the meat being very soft and juicy just like a rib should be. Some of the marinades on the meat were a little too sugary for my test but then I’m not really a BBQ sauce fan so if you are you’d probably like them.
The chicken drumsticks were very tasty after cooking on the BBQ, even if my BBQ skills did mean they ended up a little blacker than they should have been. The pulled pork did indeed fall apart once cooked, although it’s a relatively small portion so don’t expect it to feed more than a couple of people.
My one frustration with the new range is that the pulled pork, brisket and ribs aren’t technically BBQ food in that you cook them in the oven not on the BBQ. They’ve already had the slow cook piece of the process done so you’re just doing the finishing touches in the oven, so for me that doesn’t sit quite right in a BBQ range.
So would I buy from this range with my own money? Most likely not and not because of the taste, there were no complaints there, but because my personal choice is to buy meat that is free range and also local. Buying this way doesn’t meet either of those 2 requirements, for example on the pulled pork box it only tells you that the meat is from the EU. For me that doesn’t work and I’m willing to pay more for my meat as a result.