I needed a roast dinner. So given the limited opportunities available to me, I went to Morrisons.
Actually that isn’t really true. I didn’t need a roast dinner. But I did feel some compulsion and desire to write a review of a roast dinner – and I know that you need me. And then I spent two weeks with an unfinished article…
I do sometimes feel that I am misunderstood. Not only in terms of my gender – we had a “guess the baby” competition at work the other
day week and nearly half my colleagues thought I was a girl as a baby, but also in terms of my real being, my real persona, Lord Gravy.
You should all understand my mission by now, and that is to find the best, and worst roast dinners in London. My long-standing fans should definitely appreciate this.
There is no point in me cooking a roast dinner and putting it up for review – as you cannot replicate that. Also…I’d get a roasting…let’s just say that I look more like Delia Smith than cook like her.
However, if I go to a supermarket, and choose the pre-prepared roasting options then you can replicate this yourself.
So last Friday (well, 3 Fridays ago now), I went on a long walk to Morrisons before I started work – yeah I’m not one of you lazy fuckers on furlough getting almost full pay in exchange for maybe mowing your lawn once a day, and yes I did intend that to refer to my neighbour’s joy of noisy gardening instead of it being innuendo. There could be worse images in my head right now.
This was just after the Trump revelation regarding disinfectant and I was delighted to breath the vast quantities of disinfectant fumes within Morrisons.
You may remember my trip to Waitrose a couple of weeks back, which was the first in this lockdown roast series. It was far worse than I expected – I scored it a 4.5 out of 10 for it really was tasteless and miserable. I don’t expect any supermarket pre-prepared roast dinner to score even as “high” as a 7 out of 10, but I certainly thought Waitrose would score higher than a 4.5.
You’d expect Morrisons to score lower, wouldn’t you? Snobs.
The first challenge was to scout for the pre-prepared gravy pouches. I could only find beef gravy at first, and I could only then only find either pre-prepared beef joints with their own gravy, or normal topside…and that would involve me doing something of my own volition.
I stumbled around looking for vegetables whilst I considered my options. Pre-prepared vegetables were thin on the ground too, though I found some cauliflower cheese – so that was ticked off the list.
Pre-prepared roast potatoes were not possible to find – I could have bought a minging bag of 90p frozen roast potatoes but I wasn’t willing to stoop quite so low and I have a fantastic excuse in that my freezer is full of pie and sausage rolls. Thanks to MyPie. Yeah I recommend.
Hmmm, Chips On A Roast Dinner
So I went for chips instead. Don’t look at me like that. They were Maris Piper chunky chips – and part of Morrisons’ The Best range. So must be the best, right? Certainly the best decision I could make, perhaps bar closing this blog and not feeling compelled to review such shite.
Not long after, I discovered a pouch of chicken gravy, located nowhere near the beef gravy and other sauce pouches – I turned around to find a chicken in a bag – a new concept to me and it came with it’s own stuffing.
Oh and a frozen giant yorkie, again because of a lack of freezer space and perhaps more importantly I didn’t want a fucking bag of the things – they were not from The Best range and quite frankly looked like they were from The Rather Nasty range.
All that cost…actually I don’t know. £22.55 in total, but that included wine which was £7, cheesecake which was £2 I think…£13.55 at a guess. Oh and some chicken too for a sandwich, so about £10. Cheaper than Waitrose which was £12.98.
The big day came around and I was suitably inspired by our leader returning to his duty as were surprisingly so many lefties on Twitter who seem to keep calling “Where’s Boris”, to my surprise. Yes I was raring to go.
Hmmm, Food In A Bag.
I’m glad I read the instructions as chicken in a bag needed to stay in the bag. My assumption was that I would need to remove it. 1 hour and 50 minutes in total – it required the bag cutting open with 30 minutes to go to brown it up (should I desire) – before I did that it had a few large brown spots which was slightly disturbing.
At first I thought it looked like it had taken a large dump whilst in the process of cooking – thankfully I realised the stuffing had actually squeezed out of its head so looked more like a turtle. The skin doesn’t look right, does it?
The gravy was a microwave job – woohoo that qualifies me to be a chef at Wetherspoons…and a few of the places I’ve eaten roast dinners at too, especially in Balham. Otherwise everything was a stick in the oven job – my favourite kind of cooking.
All easy enough for you to replicate, you will be overjoyed to hear.
Not quite strong enough for Rate My Plate but I’d certainly be a bit disturbed if that was served to me in a restaurant.
Starting with the cauliflower cheese and this was…kind of decent. Decent enough, anyway. A little cheesy, the sauce thickened a bit but we did have some gravy pollution issues. Cauliflower was quite soft. Not amazing, but you aren’t expecting amazing, are you? I certainly wasn’t. It ticked a box of satisfaction if not overwhelming joy.
I’m sure I’ve told you this story before, but I regurgitate plenty of my pithy anecdotes and I still somehow have readers – and I review the same fucking meal every week, or used to prior to 5G being installed.
Anyway, when I was young I used to go watch Hull City AFC – in the days before 5G cancelled football. We used to sit in the Best Stand. Paint was peeling off, the wood was rotten, it stank of piss – if you were sat in the wrong area you’d get a shower of rust if the ball hit the roof. But it was the Best Stand. You know, this is probably someone else’s story that I’ve stolen.
I didn’t want to put chips on a roast dinner, to the point where I seriously considered the frozen smiley face potatoes – alas, no freezer space. These The Best chips from Morrisons were the worst chips that I’ve had in a long time. Miserable, dry, a bit chewy – even with gravy on. Even worse – there was enough left for the next day’s meal.
The Yorkshire pudding was predictably cardboardy. I felt like I was ripping strips off it, and it added zero value to the meal whatsoever. Then again, you could say that about many Yorkshire puddings at expensive restaurants in London.
Believe it or not, the chicken was actually quite good. It was plump and didn’t feel especially cheap – the chicken drumstick seemed tough and overdone, but the breast was relatively juicy.
The stuffing could have been better but likewise it could have been worse. It was tasty – being a mix of pork, sage and onion you’d bloody well hope so, and the texture was quite soft on the inside, a little crispy on the outside.
I took a sniff of the gravy once it had been microwaved and it smelt like a 1990’s football ground concourse. It didn’t taste like that and had enough resemblance to a chicken gravy to assist with the appeal of the roast dinner, even if it was weirdly transparent for a brown, gloopy liquid. Don’t take this as a resounding compliment – but it had flavour unlike the Waitrose gravy and improved the roast dinner a bit. Albeit perhaps less than crappy cheap granules might have.
Hmmm, Summarise This And Lick Me All Over
A roast dinner from pre-prepared ingredients at Morrisons was actually better than similar at Waitrose.
Whereas at Waitrose, I encountered zero joy through the whole meal – I at least enjoyed most of the chicken, and the stuffing.
The chips and yorkie were dire, but it isn’t exactly as if I never have to complain about anything on a plate when I go out for a roast.
I wouldn’t choose to repeat this experience. I don’t recommend it. But it could have been much worse. A score of 5.75 out of 10 will suffice.
Next up in the series could be Asda. It could be Sainsburys. It won’t be M&S because I’m a shareholder and I will have to give them 10/10 as I don’t want the share price to fall any further. Tesco is too far away.
Unless, Boris…maybe…open restaurants first?
Loved & Loathed
Loved: Chicken and stuffing were reasonably nice
Loathed: Gravy smelt like 80's football ground toilets. Yorkie like cardboard, chips (sigh) sooo dry.
Where now, sailor?
Random roast review: The Duchy Arms, Kennington