Saturday roast and I like the way I feel…pretty gravy. Yes, boys, girls and people who’s alternative gender really upsets Ann Widdecombe, this week I ordered a Sunday roast kit from Drake & Morgan.
And cooked it on the Saturday. Cretinous, I know.
Speaking of cretinous, the people behind the annual social media vomit-inducing post fest managed to arrange Valentine’s Day to be on Sunday roast day. Thank fuck pubs are closed.
However, I did treat myself to some self-loving for Valentine’s weekend, and bought myself a box of heart-shaped doughnuts, at the price of £26.00 plus rather a lot more for my future diabetes treatment on the NHS, but let’s not worry about that because the government can just create as much money as it likes and there will be absolutely no problems.
Banging doughnuts – I did offer my housemate one but haven’t seen her for two days since. I hope she doesn’t think I’m in love with her. I’m in love with me. ME. And roast dinners. Well…some roast dinners. To be fair, I don’t always love myself either.
Who is Drake?
How’s your week been? I feel like I should be telling you that my week was boring, and I was just about to do so but then I remembered that I read that Grant Shnapps said that we shouldn’t book a holiday so I booked a holiday later that day. In the UK, of course, as fuck getting on a plane with a mask.
And then I spent £102 on two plastic lids. Yes, I really did spend £102 on a bit of plastic. Two bits of plastic. I’m sure my grandmother will be excited that I’ve finally spent her Christmas money though.
And after that, I put on some bright red lipstick, high heels, a sequin wedding dress, did a huge line of ketamine and laid outside Tesco throwing frozen peas at everyone with a mask on. Nah, I didn’t really – I don’t go anywhere near Tesco, urgh. Plus I’m really quite boring.
However I did also spend £45.00 on a roast dinner for two from Drake & Morgan. My spending is such that the Bank Of England won’t need to do any more quantitative easing at this rate.
So, Drake & Morgan. I’ve never been. It doesn’t strike me as a me place, but you know that I’m not in this roast dinner reviewing game for me – I’m here to make your life just that tiny bit better. I do make your life a tiny bit better, right?
I asked my most-regular accomplice what she thought I’d think of Drake & Morgan – she is a big fan of the place – her answer was, “it’s a very cocktail vibe”. I tried to pinpoint her on what I would think of it – her answer was, “ha ha it’s very Instagram”. I think she’s said enough.
There was only one option for a roast dinner which was a Chateaubriand for 2 people. Yeah, society is again expecting me to have a Spanish wife by now. Don’t even mention my relationship status to my mother.
Who is Francis Drake?
It did get to around midday on Friday and I’d not had any form of delivery confirmation which was slightly concerning, but a roast dinner did turn up outside my front door at some point in the afternoon. I assume there was a knock on the door but I don’t always hear it. Would be amusing if someone had a 2 month old roast dinner in one of those mystery undelivered (stolen) parcel boxes on Ebay.
Apart from the lack of gravy – hidden in the photograph but there wasn’t much to hide, I was quite hopeful. Last week’s roast dinner looked a bit basic but this week’s at least looked less Brexity…and how many roast potatoes for two people? I count 15 from the photograph.
So a pretty easy one to prepare this week. Root veg and potatoes in the oven for 15 minutes, the beef a little longer, yorkie for 4 minutes, then the cabbage and gravy were…boiled in their bags.
Boiled in their bags? That feels like something my grandmother might have done in the 1950’s to small children…sorry…to her rationed pre-pack nuclear war meals from when Britain was a truly amazing place and life was totally utopian.
Apparently this is actually a thing. Boil in a bag meals. Yum. Maybe someone could open a boil in a bag restaurant?
Who is Captain Morgan?
I guess you are all keen to see if I am now a proponent for boiled in a bag meals so lets start with the cabbage – this was soppy, mushy and pretty gross too. More pungent than your average cabbage – it kind of reminded me of the cabbage at Poplar Cafe. That isn’t a compliment – boil in a bag can bugger off.
There was roasted beetroot too. I’m not really keen on it, but as far as beetroot on a roast dinner goes, it was…there.
Things improved with the carrots, nicely roasted though I think the 15 minutes that the instructions suggested were insufficient. Maybe it is just my oven that is insufficient? This is a trend and the trend is your friend.
Roast potatoes properly felt like those from a pub – and I don’t mean that in a complimentary way either. Quantity wise they were immense – 15 in total to be spread across two roast dinners.
Alas, quality wise they were…mixed. They all felt very yesterday – I guess the key here is that I was warming them up for 15 minutes, as opposed to other roast dinner kits where I’ve warmed them up for 30 minutes – which suggests much more in the way of pre-cooking from Drake & Morgan.
One roast potato simply was towards uncooked, others just had that yesterday feel with a bit of inner softness – and no crispy edges. Quite disappointing.
The yorkie was actually good – large with crispy edges, and a bottom that could be properly softened up with the gravy to give it that softness that texturally compliments beef so well.
And the beef? Well, the Chateaubriand was an absolute delight to carve, let alone eat. This was silky feeling beef – they had already seared it, I just needed to pop it in the oven for 18 minutes which just made it nicely rare. Excellent, a really excellent piece of beef.
Yet there was a gnawing taste throughout, even for the parts of the roast dinner that I really enjoyed – my distaste not helped by watching the movie, 12 Years A Slave whilst eating the roast, which was a really difficult watch and was almost enough to put me off eating my dinner.
A tale of two gravys
I feel that A Tale Of Two Gravys was probably the name of a book by some famous 17th century literary genius like Francis Drake.
It applies here. For the Saturday roast and I like the way you feel, horrid gravy. Don’t you love it when you are trying to Shazam a techno track and it reckons it is Whigfield? Anyway, the gravy/jus thing that came from Drake & Morgan was enough for one person – so enough for Saturday night.
And guess what else? It was boil in a bag. I didn’t know how long for, that wasn’t provided on the instructions, so maybe I overcooked it? Yet it had that poncey, yucky, fruity yet slightly burnt red wine jus taste to it, and really overshadowed the whole roast.
To top it off, the instructions then said, “pour your gravy into a jug or straight onto the plates, no judgements here”. Like, who would fucking judge me for pouring gravy onto a plate? What kind of place is this?
The next day, I roasted the veg and potatoes a bit longer than instructions, and made my own gravy. I had no meat juices to work with, so it was pretty basic – butter/flour paste with a Knorr stock pot and some crappy pound shop granules to thicken it up (and make it too salty). It sufficed for gravy.
It didn’t improve the roasties, but everything else tasted much better – even the beetroot, with my basic attempt at proper gravy. The yorkie was actually sublime with the Chateaubriand and proper (ish) gravy.
Fake your morning
The Drake & Morgan gravy was bad enough to make me score this a 5.8 out of 10. I really strongly disliked the gravy. Interestingly I’ve just checked their website and they are no longer selling the roast dinner. So I’ve paid £45.00 to review a roast dinner that I didn’t enjoy that you cannot buy now. Why do I do this? I should really work out a way to monetise this. Anyone, erm, want to advertise through this blog?
However, I enjoyed my basic gravy version of their roast dinner much more and would score that a 7. The Chateaubriand really was exceptional, the yorkie and carrots good – and that is just about enough to work from. Despite the mushy cabbage and tired roasties.
It also came with Panna Cotta, which I tried but I didn’t finish. You may have realised that my taste in desserts, like many aspects of life, is a bit Neanderthal – I have a few I like, such as cheesecake, brownies or crumble, but even then I’m wary of ordering in a restaurant as you just don’t know how a chef might fuck up a basic dessert in search of Instagram likes – I once ordered a deconstructed cheesecake in a pub, thinking it would be just a basic cheesecake. I wasn’t expecting something so basic as a pile of cherries, a biscuit and some cream. For £6.50….and that was 4 years ago.
Well you should remember that your reviewer is from the home of the Scraps Buttie. What’s that I hear you ask? Well, it is a delicacy in Hull – it’s a buttered breadcake (or bap to you lot down here), with all the bits of batter that have fallen off the fish being fried in a fish and chip shop.
I’ll be back next week. I’m still not questioning my sanity enough and have ordered a roast dinner for 2 people for myself to enjoy (or not) over 2 nights. Maybe I could send the bill to the government? I mean, they pay for everything else nowadays?
At least this one is a bit cheaper. Or it was before I added dessert to the order.
It might be the last for a while, there are diminished returns for the cost and effort of reviewing these nationwide delivery roasts, especially when I’m not exactly having great roast dinners.
Drake & Morgan (Nationwide Delivery),
Where now, sailor?
Random roast review: London Business School, Baker Street