Stuffing. Its a beautiful thing and one that we are massive fans of in my house - Be it bog standard Paxo, a posh equivalent or the traditional pork kind that you find in abundance at this time of year. Tesco have really pushed the boat out this December with the latter having taken over the Sausage section.. Not something to ever complain about but does pose the dilemma on which to pick!
After some deliberation, I went for the 6 Finest Leek, Pancetta & Thyme Parcels and the 6 Spiced Fruit & Brandy Pork Stuffing Portions which are on a permanent 2 for £5 offer and are also Gluten Free - Double winner!
Leek, Pancetta & Thyme Parcels
Pork, leek and smoked pancetta sausagemeat stuffing wrapped in smoked, dry cured smokey bacon rashers.
Can we all just stop to praise how well my oven is doing in not burning everything to a crisp during Snackmas? I cooked these Parcels at 180ºC fan for the instructed 35-40 minutes and they turned out wonderfully! The amount of fat these things give out on the other hand is slightly concerning but it is Christmas so worry about the ability of Walking in the Air at a later date.
Spiced Fruit & Brandy Portions
Pork blended with dried fruit, cognac and seasonings formed into sausagement stuffing portions and garnished with cranberry and bay leaf.
I may have spoken to soon when it came to applauding my oven.. Even though these were cooked as stated on the packet, covered for 25 minutes and then for a further 5 with the foil removed, they still look a little scorched around the edges!
These portions weren't as easy to cut and get a decent picture of sadly - They were extremely soft and didn't really set up much despite being left to cool slightly and with the added nuisance of chunky dried fruit pulling everything apart. Tasting them was a bit of an odd experience too.. It was like the stuffing hadn't been mixed properly prior to portioning up as different sections had totally different flavours! Some were pleasantly pork sausage, other bits were super sweet and orangey and then there were the disgusting mouthfuls which were full on clove and brandy - Yuck! A 1 out of 5.
Overall, I am not to impressed with these 2 Stuffing offerings from Tesco. The Leek, Pancetta & Thyme Parcels aren't awful but they do require either a stiff drink or something sweet to accompany to counteract the saline. As for the Spice Fruit & Brandy Portions.. Well, my oven can continue to burn those as they can't be made any worse! Back to Paxo, I go.