*This is a collaborative post
Until recently, I had not stepped foot in Lidl. I'm not a food snob or anything, it's just that we don't have a Lidl store in my home town so it's not the most convenient place for me to shop (there are rumours there is one opening soon though).
I normally shop at Aldi/M&S/Waitrose/Independent retailers/Gousto. We were asked by Mumsnet to sample some of Lidl's alternative mains and side dishes for Christmas and obviously, we love our food at North East Family Fun so happily obliged. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and we filmed our first ever visit to Lidl. You can watch our video below:-
First on our list was 'Lamb Guard of Honour'. We all love lamb in our house and priced at £12.99 for 16 cutlets, this was very good value. I assumed we would find this dish in the fresh aisle but when I noticed it was in the freezer section, my expectations weren't great to be honest. I've never cooked lamb from frozen before but I was willing to give it a go.
The lamb was so easy to prepare - just pop in the over straight from the freezer for 90 minutes and then rest for 10 minutes. No faffing about which I liked.
The Lamb Guard of Honour is a real showstopper. Not only does it look fantastic on your table, but it also tastes delicious and it couldn't be easier to prepare. I would never have guessed it was cooked from straight frozen. There was more than enough for the 5 of us and I would not hesitate to buy again. The meat was succulent and tender and I was very pleasantly surprised. I can really see this lamb being the centrepiece of a Christmas Day table and it would work well alongside a traditional turkey too. I'm going to buy another this week to pop in our freezer to enjoy over Christmas. The lamb was easily our favourite dish from everything we tried at Lidl.
Next up were the 'Deluxe Roast Potatoes in Goose Fat' which were also frozen. I will be honest and say we would never buy frozen roast potatoes as we always make them ourselves. Homemade roast potatoes are one of the best things in life (ha ha). I wasn't wowed by these potatoes and they weren't a patch on homemade. However, if you are looking for something quick, easy and convenient and aren't as obsessed about homemade roasties as I am, they only cost £1.29 so it might be worth you trying them for yourself.
Onto meal number two and we selected 2 'Deluxe Beef Wellingtons' (also from the frozen aisle). They may be a good idea if you are cooking an intimate dinner for 2 this Christmas and aren't keen on turkey. Priced at a very reasonable £6.99 for 2, these again were super easy to cook - straight in the oven from the freezer. The Wellingtons are served with a Red Wine and Port Jus which you need to heat in a pan.
The beef has been matured for 21 days and is described as 'succulent'. We wouldn't describe it as succulent as it did seem a little on the dry side but this didn't matter too much as there was plenty of jus to go around and it was very rich and full of flavour. The pastry was perfect too and tasted almost as good as homemade. All in all, a decent meal but I am not sure it has the same wow factor as the lamb did. You can't complain too much at less than £3.50 per portion though.
We selected 'Deluxe Duchess Potatoes' to accompany our Wellington's (99p) and we enjoyed these more than the roast potatoes - I think it's because it's something we wouldn't normally make ourselves. I'll also be re-purchasing these to keep in our freezer.
There are lots of delicious sounding side dishes available at Lidl but we struggled to find any of the deluxe vegetable dishes when we visited mid-November. I would love to try the deluxe vegetable parcel but that will have to wait for some other time. Instead, we picked up a bag of regular mixed veg for just 79p and it was a quick and easy way to add some green to our meals.
Finally, we could not resist Mature Blue Stilton Cheese in a Ceramic Pot and Deluxe Columbian Estate Coffee beans. Both are priced at an unbelievable £3.49 and look (and taste) very luxurious. As well as accompanying your Christmas lunch, I think they'd be a welcome addition to a food hamper gift this Christmas. The coffee and stilton were both something we would most definitely recommend and buy again. The coffee was as good as the local beans we normally buy and the Stilton was lovely and crumbly. At these prices we don't need to save fresh coffee and a cheese board for a special occasion and will probably re-purchase this coffee to enjoy throughout the whole month of December.
So in summary:-
- Lamb Guard of Honour - You MUST try this! It's a real showstopper
- Deluxe Roast Potatoes with Goose Fat - Pretty average
- Deluxe Beef Wellington with Red Wine Jus - Very nice but maybe not special enough for Christmas Day
- Duchess Potatoes - We'll be re-purchasing. A bargain at only 99p
- Mature Blue Stilton Cheese in a Ceramic Pot - We'd definitely recommend
- Deluxe Columbian Estate Coffee beans - Amazing value, we would 10000% recommend as a treat this November/December.
Disclosure : I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher in return for writing this post.
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