I WAS surprised to see that Birds Eye still made these, so I had to buy them to satisfy my retro geekiness. It was the first time I’d seen them since the 80s, and I immediately began humming the song in the TV advert…
Will it be chips or jacket spuds, will it be salad or frozen peas… will it be mushrooms, fried onion rings, you’ll have to wait and see…
The last time I had a Steakhouse Grill was back in the mid 80s. I was a teenager and was not keen on eating and had a physique similar to a garden rake (some guys at school called me bones), but I loved Steakhouse Grills.
Steakhouse Grills were very very tasty (that’s another advert – see essential retro reading below). In my fifteen-year-old eyes, Steakhouse Grills were massive, mansize, fill-you-up to belly bursting size… and this was a big part of their appeal: it made me feel manly. It was at a time when my moustache was visible and I’d started eyeing up the yellow Bic razors in the supermarket. Eating a whole Steakhouse Grill made me feel like a real man, not a skinny teenager with spots.
Fast forward thirty-eight years and Steakhouse Grills are still in the market. They’ve had a sneaky little name change to Beef Grill Steaks but I knew what they really are. I’m old school, I’m retro, so throughout the rest of this post, I’m going to be stubborn and stick to my retro terminology guns and still call them Steakhouse Grills.
I did think ‘these look rather small’ whilst placing them under the grill. During grilling time, I quickly knocked-up some caramelised onions, fried a large mushroom and put together a speedy salad. Once everything was plated-up, the finishing touch was a good grind of coarse black pepper… job done!
So what’s my verdict? What do I compare it to? Actually, pretty decent, but comparing it to a steak would be a bit unfair. The thing is that since the mid-eighties, my taste direction in steaks has changed: I’m a regular purchaser of Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference steaks (30 days matured) and I love some of the premium steaks available at farm shops. I also take time and pride when preparing my steaks: room temperature, a light brushing of oil infused with garlic, fried in a smoking hot pan, a small sprinkling of salt whilst resting on my special steak board and finally eating it slowly enjoying every moment. Whilst my Steakhouse Grill didn’t need as much preparation (straight under the grill from the freezer) and was cheaper than the Taste the Difference and farm shop steaks, it was nice. There was even a pleasant hint of rosemary, which I don’t remember from my previous tasting back in 1985.
Whilst not a premium offering, Steakhouse Grills work in many ways: stored in the freezer, cooked straight from the freezer, no waiting to reach room temperature, uniform in size and pretty speedy to cook (twelve minutes under the grill).
Will it be chips or jacket spuds? In our household, most probably chips. Salad or frozen peas… salad all day long. Mushrooms or fried onion rings… both, but the onion rings will be oven cooked instead of fried.
Actually, I’ve just had an excellent idea: the next time I cook a Steakhouse Grill, I’m going to pimp up my meal retro style – I’m going to have it with Smash potato (for mash get smash), Bachelors Bigga Marrowfat peas and a good pouring of Bisto gravy, all served on a Pyrex plate. I’ll wash it down with a nice cold glass of Lilt with a totally tropical taste. I’m planning on doing this whilst watching Bananaman on BritBox so I really feel like I’ve been transported back to the 80s.
More essential retro reading…
- The driver, the choir and Birds Eye Steakhouse Grills
- Lilt, with a totally tropical taste: the Lilt Man to the rescue
- Very very tasty Kellogg’s Bran Flakes
- For mash get Smash: a brief tale of the Smash Agreement
- The Microwave: from scepticism to acceptance
- Bananaman: unorthodox crimefighting with a smile