Where the fuck have I been? Yeah, I know. It’s February and this roast dinner from Jimmy’s Popups (Jimmy’s Ultimate Roast Feast) is my first review of the year.
Look, I truly did everything I could, and continue to do everything that I can, to bring you roast dinner reviews.
I was intending on coming back last weekend – I was going to review my own roast.
All was looking good. At least before I put it in the oven…
Oh it was my birthday by the way – happy birthday to me. Do you want to know what I received for my birthday or do you just want to strip off and sing me happy birthday?
No, I didn’t really get that for my birthday. Do you want to know what I received for my birthday?
Yes I did actually get that for my birthday. Anyone else got a sister weird enough to buy them porn for their birthday? Not to mention the amount of roast dinners that she joins me for…well…used to.
Happy birthday to me
So this roast dinner from Jimmy…no hang on, this roast dinner that I cooked last weekend for my birthday ended up just being a bundle of beige bemusement.
More fail than fantasy – I used to be able to make a 9 out of 10 at my best, this was probably more 6.9. Jerusalam artichokes don’t belong on a roast. The lamb was a bit undercooked (good flavour though), roasted veg wasn’t roasted enough. Roast potatoes were kind of soft but just didn’t have the proper chuffed up edges – that was my biggest disappointment as I’m normally banging at roasties.
Presentation-wise – well if you know what I look like then you probably know not to expect expect fine dining presentation. Fuck, just realised that Jimmy’s Popups know what I look like as the roast was hand delivered. And they knows where I live. Guess I better be nice. I don’t want to give too much away until I get to it, but it was good to have a proper chef involved in my roast dinners again.
Anyway – the one thing I did get close to spot on was the white wine and lamb stock gravy. I was quite impressed with that. No yorkie as my housemate didn’t have any milk that I could borrow.
So, as you can see, I have truly done everything that I could to bring you roast dinner reviews. Alas, I’m even more out of practice at making a roast dinner than I am at dating hot Spanish women. Hang on…the guy behind Jimmy’s Popups is called Jimmy Garcia. Garcia. Es Español, si? If I give you a glowing review, Jimmy, does that mean that you have lots of hot Spanish women that might be interested in dating a fat bloke with shares in a cruise ship company? Cruise ships go to Spain.
Writing to Jimmy
The world doesn’t cater to single people very well, except in the adult entertainment industry. Half-loaves of bread are modern inventions, 2 for 1 offers for days out are for 2 people, and lockdown meal kits almost always come in kits of 2 people – or sometimes not even for less than 4 people. What about sad, lonely fuckers like me? Even the honourable Blacklock only do their roast dinner kits for 2 people.
And yet again, my frustration continued when I discovered Jimmy’s Popups were doing 3-course roast dinner kits, for 2 people. For £70. In fairness to them, they do offer for 3, 4, 5 or 6 people – instead of insisting that your household must have an even number of people. But £70 – on a good week my total food shopping comes to less than that – I just couldn’t justify it, especially when I could buy 5 shares in Carnival Cruises (next GameStop, bro) for that price.
So I wrote to Jimmy.
Subject: I am a grumpy, miserable, lonely, fat, idiot
Message: Oh Jimmy.
What about us happily miserable and single people that has nobody to share a roast with for the next 3 months?
I see your two person box. I like the look of your two person box. But I am just one person.
Woe betide me with my fat, ugly face and small willy.
But if you do at some point take pity on us lonely, sad fools – do feel free to make a roast box for one. I’ve got a blog and I’m not even asking for a freebie. Can you believe this? I don’t even offer exposure in return for a roast. I offer money, proper cash stuff, but I just want a roast dinner for one.
Lord Gravy. THE Lord Gravy.
Jimmy actually wrote back (or one of his…representatives did):
Dear Lord Gravy,
My apologies your Lordship – we endeavour to serve all members of the roast eating aristocracy, so would be pleased to assist you in your request.
Our chefs will prepare you a box for 1 this week, and i will pop you over a link via our payment app – Square for £40.
Simply click the link, and pay online.
I would be grateful if you would just let me know when it is done, and we will take care of the rest.
Your humble servants,
Jimmy and the team
Boom! It’s on! But then I remembered that I was cooking myself a roast dinner that Sunday and was really excited about it…oh for the level of hindsight that our social media covid experts have. I wrote back hoping that the offer would be on for the week after.
I heard nothing.
So the next week I paid the £40 anyway. It would be fine surely? And it sure was…a couple of days later they messaged me to arrange delivery – not even by courier, but by themselves. Impressed – but they know where I live now. Eeeeek.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Maybe I should start using Tinder again…Spanish wife in time for the next pandemic?
But who is Jimmy?
Urgh don’t get me started on that coke-snorting prick who could have helped my football team stay in the Premier League but instead was ALLEGEDLY (hello Mark Francois in a different way) too interested in the bathroom facilities of Hull’s finest hospitality establishments. How dare he?
Ahhh Fear And Loathing, they were sooooo cool. One of those on the back row is my hero, by the way. I should probably add before you unfollow me, that it isn’t the commie.
Anyway, Jimmy runs various pop-up style restaurant event things across London in normal times – you’ll surely have seen the little igloo things on Southbank in previous Christmases – if you remember what a Christmas is. And I’ve just read that he’s from Yorkshire – which is great – people from Yorkshire are THE BEST, but not helpful for my chances of being introduced to a Spanish wife. He does wedding catering though. Maybe check out the about page.
For now, the only thing I wanted to check out was their roast dinner offering, which at the time of writing is not available. LOLZ. I assume that you have Valentine’s Day to blame for this indiscretion. Oh fuck, my hero isn’t the fucking fascist on the back row either. Yeah my hero is the sweaty one. He’s an athlete.
Speaking of indiscretions – fruit on savoury. What are we thinking?
Yes I know this isn’t a roast dinner. Yes I know that my presentation skills are shit. Yes I know that my photography skills are shit. Yes I know that I have a small willy. Yes I know that my SEO plugin is going to complain that I’ve started 5 sentences in a row with the same word.
Don’t you remember? A 3-course meal. Now, I don’t do fruit on savoury. Pineapple on pizza? Get stuffed. Orange in salad? Get stuffed. Cranberry sauce on turkey? Yep, get stuffed – Christmas sandwiches are always ruined. The cherries themselves seemed soaked in alcohol, which reminded me of the good old days when I used to drink…ooooh one week beforehand.
The brioche was good quality – lightly toasted as per instructions, the mustard mayonnaise was tops, grainy and tangy without being too demanding of my attention. And for the terrine itself I really enjoyed the mixture of textures – the fat, mixed with the game, mixed with what I think were pistachio nuts – almost like eating one of those schoolbook charts of the different layers of earth.
But putting it all together as a dish to me didn’t make sense. That is probably more a criticism of my culinary uncouthness – I am a fucking roast dinner blogger, after all. I really liked all the composite parts – the terrine and mustard mayonnaise were particularly top class.
I need to get rid of that scrolling pink banner, don’t I? Also if you are reading and there is no scrolling pink banner, I got rid of it.
Popping over to the mains
There were instructions and I appreciated the matching fonts also. I’m in two minds as to whether to describe the cooking process and then describe the roast, or whether to describe the cooking process and taste of each part.
Let’s do parts. The carrots I had to simmer in a pan with the juices, however I didn’t have any juices. The bag with the carrots had lots of sticky bits of orange so I ran a bit of water into it and called that the juice.
However, simmering for 10 minutes as per the instructions left the carrot way too tough for my preferences. Good flavour – orange and star anise – there is no underthinking to the flavour from Jimmy’s Popups but the carrot needed cooking longer. Or more juice. Or I fucked something up, which is always very possible – but meal kits should be idiot proof.
Spot the evil? No, there are not Intel chips inside, but those evil little green things. I managed to pick out the broccoli and cabbage, blanched them for 4 minutes and boom – the instructions were perfect and my following of them was too.
Both were good quality veggies, with a hint of chilli and garlic as per the accompaniments.
Finally for the vegetables – the cauliflower cheese. This was a bit odd tasting, I’m wanting to suggest the influence of tarragon which is probably my least favourite herb. It looked good after 30 minutes in the oven, a nice crispy top, a bit of goo and the cauliflower was soft but not too soft. On the one side, I’m impressed with the ingenuity and the attempt at something new, and boy I’ve had many a bland cauliflower cheese. But I just didn’t quite take to it.
When did you last take poppers?
Now I complain about roast potatoes a lot. Really. I do. My only complaint here is the instructions – to cook for 30 minutes. Cool, but on what temperature? Given that I also had to cook the beef, I plumped for a middling 200’C, which will apparently be the average temperature in the UK in February in a couple of decades according to the Met Office.
30 minutes still wasn’t enough and I stretched it out to 35 or so – really I think it needed to be 50 or a higher cooking temperature.
So I didn’t quite have the crispy sides as ideal, but they were fluffy inside, tasted gorgeous from the fat, thyme and garlic which all combined nicely. And they were even good warmed up in the microwave the next night…which does make me question why so many pubs get them sooooo wrong?
No, my photography skills haven’t improved. Here’s one with the flash on instead:
Hmmm. If only I had bought a British smartphone. You laugh but there is a British company making smartphones. There is hope for Brexit yet. Not sure they’ve released a new model since before the referendum though.
So the Yorkshire pudding was pretty good. Soft and small, like my…nose.
The beef looked amazing before it went in the oven.
30 minutes on the unknown temperature was enough – my conscience wanted to sear it beforehand but that wasn’t in the instructions, though the instructions didn’t mention anything about leaving it to rest – but I left it to rest anyway.
It was pretty tender, nicely rare, quite juicy though a tad chewy in a couple of spots.
Finally, the jus, which just needed warming up. This was quite rich and flavoursome, but didn’t take over the meal. Good consistency and enough for one person – though given that I stretched this into two roast dinners, I had to make my own gravy the second night. When is there ever enough gravy? Well…jus in this case.
Yeah there is still more to read…
Overall I…hang on. Dessert.
I was too stuffed to eat it on the Sunday night after two courses so saved this for the next night – eating just before going to bed like all proper obese people do.
You know, I’m not into sticky toffee pudding. It’s a caramel ting – it makes me feel like I want to vomit. 12 pints of beer, 6 pieces of fried chicken and a large chocolate bar – no problem. Tiny bit of caramel on a Twix? Bluergh.
Those who are fans of sticky toffee pudding like my pornographic birthday present buying sister will be in love. But you know what? It even made me reassess my dessert life. This was really, really good – the sponge just had that little crisp around the edge once warmed up that satisfied my textural desires, the caramel sauce didn’t really make me feel queasy and the clotted cream just made it sublime.
You might make a sticky toffee pudding fan out of me.
So, overall this was really enjoyable. Lots of thought, quality and flavour throughout the 3 course meal.
Sure, it didn’t always work for me but that’s more a me thing – cherries on a game terrine, peas which are truly the Boris Johnson vegetable, along with my undeserved and now reconsidered distrust of sticky toffee pudding.
And I do think the instructions need to be made a bit more idiot-proof. Maybe you might also be overwhelmed by rather a lot of plastic packaging, but I’m a fan of plastic as long as people actually use a bin – and don’t litter.
There are far more positives though – loved the game terrine and need to know how to make one. Mustard mayonnaise was banging. Roast potatoes were actually really good. Lots of flavour throughout and the advantage of having a proper chef cook my roast dinner showed throughout. I was impressed. And they even made me reconsider my distrust of sticky toffee pudding.
Not to mention that they went out of their way to hand-deliver a roast dinner for two people (starters and desserts for one) after I wrote to them, and at a good price – I feel embarrassed even daring to write anything other than effusive praise.
If I’m reviewing the whole experience then I’d score it an 8.20 out of 10. If I’m reviewing the roast dinner then I’m going for a 7.90 out of 10.
I reckon this won’t be my last experience with Jimmy’s Popups. Especially once lockdown is over and we can once again eat out.
For now, I’d recommend that you check out the boxes on Jimmy’s Popups website – at the time of writing they have a tapas box and a Valentine’s Box – I’d like to think that they’ll be offering roasts again soon as they have a weekly changing menu.
I’m pleasantly impressed.
I’ll be back next week. Yes, I have another roast dinner on the way – this time from ooooop north.
Jimmy’s Popups (Nationwide Delivery),
Where now, sailor?
Random roast review: The Stag, Belsize Park