With everything that is going on in the world right now, people are definitely staying more at home, and cooking more, but that gets old sometimes. Several times a week I feel like I couldn’t be bothered to cook, and I wish I could just not be hungry. That’s pretty grim, I know, and thankfully there are some tasty alternatives out there.
Costco seems to have figured this out, and there are more ready-to-eat meals than ever available. I picked up this new thing just a few days ago, and tried it last night: Fratelli Beretta Roasted Pork Shank.
I got this gorgeous new thing at my local Costco for only $19.99, Canadian dollars, no taxes. Basically for 20 bucks you get two pork shanks, about 700 grams each. The box helpfully proclaims that ‘one shank is ideal for 2 people’ so I made the whole thing, since there are 4 of us. I made this with mashed potatoes and asparagus on the side, and there was some left over at the end.
Each shank is vacuum-sealed in its own bag, so you can chose to make only one if you want.
These come already fully cooked; you only need to heat them up, which I did in the oven. The box claims that 18 minutes at 350 degrees, uncovered, will do the trick, but I left it in there for 20 minutes, covered and it still wasn’t warm enough to my liking. The next time I make these, I will boil them in the bag, which is another cooking option, as is the microwave, but I don’t do that (I don’t even own a microwave).
Now, the Fratelli Beretta Roasted Pork Shanks don’t look huge, but I assure you that there is plenty of meat on there to satisfy even the more voracious appetites. There’s also plenty of bone, but those are pork shanks; this is to be expected and not a surprise. I just wish I could easily slurp up the marrow!
Now on to the most important stuff: appearance, taste and texture! I’ll let you judge the appearance for yourself. This is not meant to be fancy food, but that being said, nicely presented, the shanks look good, the color is good and you can see herbs and spices and the surface if you look at the previous picture.
As to taste and texture, this is where this product really shines! The meat is fall-of-bone delicious, and would have been even more so if I’d boiled the packages instead of opening and roasting them. Lesson learned. That being said, the meat was very easy to separate from the bone, and besides the actual bones, there is very little waste in terms of cartilage, tendons, fat, et cetera.
The taste was subtle and pleasant, not overpowering, just… delightful. One thing that must be said, however, was that this is an extremely salty dish.
As you can see with the Fratelli Beretta Roasted Pork Shank nutrition facts sheet, there is a stunning 35% of the daily recommended sodium in just 100 grams of this delicious stuff. That’s a lot, and if you eat half a shank, then you’ve definitely had at least 2 servings. I’m guessing the bone probably weighs around 250 grams, leaving a total of 5 servings per shank.
When it comes to the rest, these are actually not bad for a prepared meal. You get 11% of your daily fat, 15% of daily trans Fat, 26 grams of proteins and non-negligible amounts of Potassium and Iron. Oh yeah, and 80mg of Cholesterol.
Honestly, nobody buys products like this and expects something truly healthy; I’m happy when it’s not actually bad, and when I recognize all the ingredients without investing years of my life in a PhD in Chemistry.
Speaking of which, here are the ingredients that go into these delicious Fratelli Beretta Roasted Pork Shanks. It’s a blessedly short list:
- Sugar (Dextrose)
- Marsala wine
- Natural flavoring
There is nothing weird or unpronounceable here, no unholy conservation agents or anything of the sort, so these roasted pork shanks go even higher on my list.
There is just one negative point, and its a personal one, but it’ll give you something to think about: my wife couldn’t finish her plate, as she claimed the meat was too salty. As I said, a personal point, she’s sensitive to excess salt but usually not to that extent, and has been known to polish off a bag of chips in one sitting, so make of it what you will.
In conclusion, the Fratelli Beretta Roasted Pork Shank, available at Costco for $19.99 Canadian dollars, are a fantastic deal for a quick weekday meal, and presented properly, could be offered to guests. The meat is tender, juicy and tasty, and the value proposition spectacular. Just mind the salt.