When it comes to areas where I like to save on my food (supermarket own brand tinned tomatoes, bags of onions) I shop around for the best deal, but there are certain things, like my meat where I always feel better when I know what I'm buying, and I'm therefore happier to spend a bit more to find the very best. When the Gourmet Meat Club contacted me a couple of months ago to try one of their meat delivery boxes, I jumped at the chance to try a convenient way to get great meat (good local butchers are thin on the ground in my bit of Kent). What I did not expect was to find them such good value for the quality of what you're getting, too.
The concept is simple: choose either the £44.95 two person box of £64.95 four person box, and select what you'd like delivered (certain items are included in the price, and you can pay to add extra things in). This is what came in our two person box: 6 fat Toulouse Sausages, 400g beef mince, a 1.6kg (that's large!) chicken, a pack of Monmouthshire Air-dried Spiced Beef, a pack of 6 rashers of middle bacon (that is basically back bacon attached to streaky bacon), two massive Tennessee Smoked Baby Back Ribs, and a big two person bucco.
Getting pretty used to the packing of things like this writing my recipe box review series, I can tell you your meat will come packaged very well. The cool packs are so well insulated they took forever to defrost, and all of my meat was absolutely cold delivery was also prompt with good communication.
Lunch today: Trealy Farm Monmouthshire Spiced Air-Dried Beef with tomatoes & fresh sourdough from @gourmetmeatclub. 🐂🍅🥖#beef #aircuredbeef #trealyfarm #meat #charcuterie #meatbox #gourmetmeatclub #sourdough #bread #tomatoes #lunch #january #winter #flashesofdelight #theeverygirl #f52grams #buzzfeedfood #yahoofood #huffposttaste #huffpostfood #foodandwine #telegraphfood #guardianfood #eeeeeats
6 Toulouse Sausages & Home Cure Middle Bacon
Good sausages and bacon are important for my weekend Full English breakfasts, so when I'm not staying healthy with grilled tomatoes and chicken sausages I put a lot of time and effort into choosing my sausages. These were delicious; meaty and full of flavour, and I loved not having to choose between streaky and back bacon with this old fashioned, and now pretty unusual cut. Just a note on the bacon, though: it will be a little tough if you roast/ bake it, it needs to be done in a frying pan or grilled, and if you grill it, keep an eye on it. It caught quite easily when I was making bacon sandwiches one lunchtime!
Whole Free Range Chicken
This was the best roast chicken on a Sunday night since I cooked this insanely expensive Daylesford Organic bird. One to respect with a simple treatment and delicious sides, while it is in a two person box, we had much more leftover meat than we usually do making a medium bird for the three of us. It made wonderful sandwiches and plates of cold chicken and chips, and had such a beautiful flavour.
Grass Fed Minced Steak
While I had planned to showcase the steak in some juicy homemade beef burgers, I got sick and we were looking through the freezer for something to make a good, nourishing meal I actually wanted to eat (why is it when you've been sick food is the thing you need the most, but it is such a struggle to eat?), and my Mum offered to use it to make me a Shepherds Pie (yes, I know cottage is beef and shepherds is lamb, but we use shepherds interchangeably in our house!) and it sounded amazing. The beef was wonderful, not only could you tell from the taste it was fantastic steak, but it had a really great fat to meat ratio too, if you were looking to serve it up in a more naked form.
Monmouthshire Air-dried Spiced Beef
As you can see from the Instagram above, we had this for lunch with fresh tomatoes and a couple of hunks of sourdough. It was strong, full of flavour and for the cured beef lover. It was also of excellent quality and you got a generous amount, so I'd really recommend something from the cured section when you place your order if that is where your meat preferences tend.
Tennessee Smoked Baby Back Ribs
Popular on my Instagram Stories, these ribs were literally my only disappointment in the box. The ribs themselves were fantastic; better than anything I've ever had from a supermarket, really meaty, juicy and tender. However, the flavouring did nothing for them. They were however fantastic doused in my favourite barbecue sauce.
You may have noticed that I have not written about the beef buco yet; it is in the freezer waiting for when I have a chance to make one of my favourites from our French kitchen, where I can easily get veal buco in the supermarket: Osso Buco Bianco from The River Cafe Cookbook (this blog has put the recipe online, but the photos nowhere near do it justice). It is a big piece so I'll do it to share, which is okay because I'm the only person in the house who loves bone marrow, but this bit is not great for sharing if you're both a fan!
So, to summarise, what did I think of my delivery? Well, I was really impressed. There was way more meat than I expected (seriously, unless you both eat all meat for every meal which is not at all healthy, only order if you have a freezer so you can enjoy some of it later!) and you got a lot more for your money than if you tried to buy the same grass fed, British, welfare items with total traceability back to the farm from a supermarket. The meat was also really good butcher quality, and highly enjoyable, juicy and full of flavour. I'd really recommend a Gourmet Meat Club box if you're serious about your meat, and you can order yours here.