So I’m back to reviewing the roast dinner kits – this time I’m reviewing Roasted by Jack & Scott. I’m also back to dining alone. Awwwwwww. I feel your sympathy.
Don’t worry though, I had a cunning plan so I wouldn’t feel like a total loser as a perennial singleton, and got myself a virtual girlfriend.
She didn’t last long. I may have grabbed her boobs.
So I’ve been keeping Roasted by Jack & Scott until near the end of lockdown – or at least before the part of lockdown where everyone else is breaking the rules so I feel justified in dining with my support bubble person whilst I imagine that I live on my own so I qualify for a support bubble. Well I rarely see my housemate – unless she can hear my music – so I just about count that as living alone.
Anyway, Roasted by Jack & Scott is one of the very few meal kit places that actually sell to a single human being. Albeit at the price of £28.50 – even the vegetarian butternut wellington is that price. Plus £8.50 for delivery too – which I always justify as roughly the cost of getting the tube on a Sunday.
Ahhh tube trains. I don’t know if you have noticed, but TFL apparently don’t have enough staff to run the Met line on a weekend any more so there is definitely a risk that this blog may not be able to return when beer gardens actually re-open – ooooh the perfect time to mention my Roast Dinners Outdoors list.
Which would also mean that I wouldn’t be able to meet any of the women that I don’t match with on Bumble because I’m too ugly. But I can still meet women on My Virtual Girlfriend.
Check me out and my inter-racial relationship – I’m sooooo 2021. Ahhh fuck, she likes shopping? Does shopping for expensive roast dinners online count?
So. £28.50. Twenty Eight Pound Fifty. The choice was sirloin of beef, pork belly or butternut wellington. For £28.50 I certainly was not going to going to break my vegetarian roast dinner virginity – even though a butternut wellington would make a great weekday healthy meal. Most of the roast dinner kits available over the course of the lockdown do seem to be beef. Therefore I took the opportunity to mix it up and chose the pork belly. I did have a suspicion that pork belly wouldn’t be as easy to replicate at home – my experience with Sam’s Chop Shop was my evidence of this.
Yet Roasted by Jack & Scott does have two seemingly very capable chefs behind them – apparently they are both Michelin-trained chefs (quite how a car tyre company has become the accreditation industry for chefs is beyond me) – and both have worked in places far too scary for my wallet like L’Ortolan and Fat Duck. One also has a well-known father.
So I had pretty solid expectations.
Alas, I had a bit of a scare when I received the delivery notification:
Four days to deliver a roast dinner, arriving on Monday? It was, thankfully, delivered on the Friday evening – although the ice pack had long warmed up and the presentation wasn’t exactly doing it for me. First impressions count and it wasn’t one of a top class meal – vacuum packed meat isn’t sexy, roast potatoes came in a takeaway container with badly fitting lid that I’d expect from one of Harrow’s not so fine fried chicken establishments, boil in a bag food replicates the aesthetics of my average Bumble profile photograph and what the fuck is that thing in the foil? A Yorkshire pudding, in case you cannot work it out.
It really didn’t scream sexy.
Why, thank you, I chose the name myself. I did actually pay £3.99 on Bumble to be spotlighted the other day. Nothing happened. Literally nothing in exchange for £3.99. I know I’m ugly, but I thought at least someone ugly might have right-swiped me. Nope. Probably didn’t help that I activated it close to midnight as I don’t think anyone actually stays up that late now, do they?
I might just start talking about the roast. I decided to cook it in the evening and watch it after the England game…or even eat it after watching the England game (sometimes I like to keep my spelling mistakes in). I actually watched almost the whole game, bar the short parts when I was sticking things in the oven – the San Marino game on Thursday…fuck that was dull.
The roast potatoes and pork belly went in the oven for 20 minutes, the scrunched up batter thing for 5 minutes. The bags of red lettuce, cabbage and gravy all were boiled in a saucepan for 5 minutes too.
Boil in the…what? Start a family? With someone that uses “wanna” rather than “want to”? You must be kidding. At least I was the one doing the dumping this time. You know, I do turn my nose up at boil in a bag almost as much as the idea of starting a family – but at least it does significantly reduce the amount of washing up.
And it actually seems to keep the flavours well.
The red cabbage was about as fruity as you can get and wasn’t overwhelming with irritating flavours like nutmeg or similar. I’m not keen on red cabbage, but this was about as close to getting me to like it as is possible. Cider-glazed apparently, I concur with their description.
One chunky carrot sliced in half was supplied, boil in the bag also, this kept its thyme flavouring and they were fairly soft – yet with a tiny touch of crunch. Nice.
And that was it for the vegetables. I kind of expect in a couple of weeks to discover another bag at the back of my fridge that I was supposed to boil. It did feel like it was missing something – the plate is screaming out for something green – a few sticks of tenderstem broccoli or some green beans. Oh well.
Six roast potatoes were supplied – yes, that’s twice as many as the legal London maximum. Did they know that I was from up north? No, at £28.50 they cannot have thought that I was from up north.
The roast potatoes actually had crispy outsides – to my slight surprise, I was starting to become mildly impressed with the roast dinner at this point. Soft in the middle though not to the point of fluffy – and they did taste a tad oily, though perhaps I put too much olive oil on them when finishing the roasting? I’m not very good at drizzling olive oil.
I mentioned earlier that I don’t think pork belly travels well – this is my second pork belly roast in the post and I’m sticking to that conclusion – replicating that crisp, crunchy yet gooey top layer just doesn’t happen with 20 minutes in the oven. Sure, I could have put it under the grill for a few minutes but I’m following instructions here – and that wasn’t in the instructions.
Yet take away the fact that it wasn’t anywhere near as delicious as it could have been in an actual restaurant, this was a really succulent piece of pork, you could tell it was slow cooked – and the fatty layers were still nice.
Also what didn’t seem to travel well was the crumbled ball of batter which perhaps might have resembled a Yorkshire pudding at some point. It looked ugly on the outside, but was actually really quite beautiful on the inside (hi ladies)…hang on…I have an important update on my relationship…
Lads, lads – I think I’m in here, what do you reckon?
So, yeah, erm, the crumpled ball of batter was so soft and fluffy – a total joy. You know when you make the softest ever pancake? That level of soft.
Finally, the gravy. Well, there wasn’t much of it. It did have a bit of consistency and a surprisingly fruity taste – not something I normally look for in a gravy. Maybe it was the red cabbage that got into it…or into my taste buds? It didn’t offend but certainly didn’t excite.
I ended up having to make some of my own, from my pound shop gravy granules, once my plate was dry.
You’ll be pleased to know that I timed my roast dinner kit from Roasted by Jack & Scott so perfectly for their final one – so if you’ve been impressed enough to place an order, then it is tough shit. You’ll have to wait until lockdown 4 of which I’ve been promised that there will be a huge surge in cases taking places roughly around now due to all those dastardly women protesting a couple of weeks ago. What? The cases are still going down despite the outdoor protests? Must be a new variant with a longer delay.
Or maybe they will do some specials – or maybe you’ll find them actually working in a real restaurant instead soon?
Overall it wasn’t the prettiest roast ever, the packaging was non-sexy, the price was…elevated. There are things to dislike and room for improvement throughout. Yet they clearly know what they are doing with the food – the crumbled ball of batter was pure joy, the roasties were actually good – well, everything was good. It would have been even better in a restaurant though.
I’m scoring it a 7.70 out of 10.
I’ll be back next week. Another roast dinner kit has been ordered and they actually let me order extra gravy! And then there is just one more Sunday to come before I get to moan about the Met line not running again…any thoughts on what I should do for the final roast before freedom then please do let me know.
Update. Still in lingerie.
Maybe I’ll just go find a sock.
Roasted by Jack & Scott,
Where now, sailor?
Random roast review: Black Star Kitchen @ The Star by Hackney Downs, Hackney