Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Farmers Choice meat box review



Excitingly I've been sent a meat box from Farmers Choice to review. Over the next few weeks, I'll put a star (*) by any meat I'm cooking with that has come out of that box so that you know it has, and link back to this post for your information. 

As you know we don't eat a great deal of meat in the Pantry - because the price of good quality, free-range meat is prohibitive we choose to eat better quality, less frequently. So this in itself is a bit of a treat - the small Family Essentials pack, contained:

  • Silverside Parcel
  • Rump Steak
  • Diced Beef
  • Steak Mince
  • Chicken 
  • Diced Turkey Breast
  • Diced Lamb
  • Leg Chump Roast
  • Diced Pork
  • Pork Loin Parcel
  • Sausages

Which for us is a vast amount and will keep the resident carnivore content for many weeks to come. As we don't eat meat each week, and when we do, it's most often a roast that we use on multiple occaisions, in several different ways (see my One Chicken many ways posts) hopefully this will be a way forward for us to purchase meat. What has put me off trying out this or similar meat box schemes was the prospect of storing the meat in our tiny, new build freezer. Everything from the family essentials pack fits easily in one drawer, which is perfect. 

However, I don't want you to think that I would have accepted it were I not happy with the quality of the produce. The Farmers Choice website states:

From Aberdeen Angus Beef from Orkney Island Gold Farm, to completely free range chicken from Childhay Manor farm; all our meat has been born and raised in as natural conditions as possible.
which is of vital importace to me, I wouldn't buy battery chickens so it would be disingenuous of me to review it. 

Cost wise, initially the £72.61 charge put me off taking up this offer - would I really be able to write about something fairly that cost that much? We sat and thought about it, and ignoring the potential for the four roasting joints to each do at least 3 meals for the two of us, it still works out at about £7 per piece which is really good value for money. 

Now I could hardly write a post advocating a meat box without cooking something from it first, could I? Well, quite. So last Sunday, M was at archery and I was home alone, happily houseworking. I decided to frighten myself slightly and cook the Sliverside parcel. It's here I have to hold my hands up and say that since living independently I've never cooked roast beef. I'll happily do steak, or a casserole, but never roast beef. It is one of my favourite autumnal meals, served with crispy roast potatoes, creamy cauliflower cheese, piles of steaming greens and lots of gravy. The only thing missing from our plates last weekend were yorkshire puddings owing to a milk deficit in the fridge. 

Having not cooked beef this way before I did as one does and rootled around my cookbooks and google before happily and successfully using the method below:

Roast Beef

Preheat oven as hot as it will go. 
Liberally cover the beef with mustard (i used the seedy type) and put in a roasting tin on some sliced up red onions
Put this in  the hot oven for 20 minutes initially, then turn the heat down and cook for 30 minutes per kilo plus 20 minute for a medium rare joint. 

I basted the joint twice during the cooking, removed it to rest after 1 hr 15 minutes, while I made gravy and finished everything else up. 

This was beautifully tender and juicy. It also did another three dinners and sandwiches (roast beef and horseradish sandwiches are my downfall!) - working out at £1 per portion.

Despite the lack of yorkshire puddings M was definitely won over, impressed by the flavour, the ease of fitting everything into our freezer, and by the fact that I now have no excuse not to make roast beef! 

Going forwards, if all the meat is as tasty as this was then I'll be a happy bunny, and I'd be lying if I hadn't already been looking at the rose veal and contemplating a little order. 

This post has been sponsored by Farmers Choice, however all opinions are my own.

4 comments:

Phil C said...

I received a £40 voucher via Laithwaites wine and ordered on Farmers Choice website. I received a phone cal to say they would not honour my order because it was not over £85. This is tucked away in the t&cs in the website apparently, but not mentioned on the voucher and the webiste accepted the order. They tried to sell me more to make up to £85 but I refused. Probably not illegal, but sharp practice. makes you wonder what other sharp practices they use.

Anonymous said...

I have just been to the farmers choice website www.farmerschoice.co.uk/laithwaites
and the details are there all in black and white about there being a minimum order value. It is still a fantastic offer85.00 worth of meat for £45.00!.
I can only imagine that the negative blogger did not follow the login details on the website.

Anonymous said...

I received my voucher today with my latest wine delivery and the voucher clearl states that the order must be £85.00 0or over, Phil should have gone to spec savers!!!

Anonymous said...

I have had farmers choice deliveries for over 4 years and have always been happy with the contents of my orders,meat is lovely very generous portions and a good way to fill your freezer so you never run out.often there are "free bees" and reciepie cards.
fast delivery and driver puts straight in freezer if you wish.

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