Iceland's Ultimate Snacks line of microwave foods is not only shaping up to be a serious rival for Rustlers and the like, they're fast becoming my first port of call for guilty pleasure food. Top of the list, in theory at least, is the idea of a beef wrap that uses a large Yorkshire pud rather than a soft tortilla (or naan... or dosa).
It sounds utterly insane but, as anyone familiar with Yorkshire pud can tell you, they end up resembling bowls most of the time, so flattening it out, stuffing it with shredded beef and gravy, then rolling it up isn't such an off-the-wall suggestion after all.
A quick web search suggests that a similar snack is available in certain pubs and football clubs (with or without the addition of horseradish sauce), so it's another example of Iceland making their own version of something, rather than managing to brainstorm a wholly original snack of their own, but this is my first experience of this particular idea.
It cooks inside a strange plastic wrap that seems to crinkle and expand in the microwave. The bag is opened both sides to allow steam out, and the instructions say to turn it over halfway through cooking to assure thorough irradiation.
Unsurprisingly, it's not exactly bursting with beef... but, to be honest, this is one of those products where overfilling would just end up with spillage and - heavens forfend - wastage. The shredded beef isn't exactly scarce, and the gravy serves the dual purpose of adding a subtle punch, and keeping the beef inside the wrap, where it belongs.
Yorkshire pud does tend to deflate, but it still makes for a more substantial wrap than yer average tortilla or dosa, if not a naan (are naans ever used for wraps? Might be worth investigating...) and yet, even with the minimal amount of beef here, it doesn't overpower the meat and gravy filling.
I do wonder if a touch of horseradish would improve this product - it's not exactly bland, but it's also not the world's most flavoursome snack. That, or perhaps some kind of vegetable or herb component, just to enhance it a little. Other than this, my only complaint would be that a couple of mouthfuls included what seemed to be a chunk of beef jelly and some kind of fatty membrane, neither of which were particularly pleasant, but that kind of thing is always luck-of-the-draw with this sort of cheap-and-cheerful product.
And, for a mere £1.50, this is a decent snack and, again, I'm not sure it would be possible to make something equivalent from scratch for the same unit cost. If I remember correctly, Iceland do sell bags of multiple, frozen, large-format Yorkshire puds, so an approximation could probably be made with mince... but to get the same effect would require something akin to Waitrose's beef brisket to be shredded by hand, and that would significantly increase the cost.
This definitely ranks as a guilty pleasure and, despite my suspicions about the random not-exactly-meat content in the one I tried, I shall no doubt be picking up more of these in future.