The first thing to say is that this is definitely a feast for three, maybe four. You might not want to share the salted caramel tart, but as we had to save this section of the feast until the evening (too full), you could be feeling generous.
It was definitely an exciting treat. We haven’t been ordering menu boxes during lockdown, and we don’t have access to Deliveroo due to our location, so you could say the bar wasn’t set high, but the large box is beautifully packed and labelled and it was a thrill to read the menu.
At first sight you might think ‘ooh that’s a lot of stuff for me to stir and time’, but as I got down to the simmer it was ease itself. This really is heating up, not dice and slice.
We opted for three courses, the ’small plates’ acting as a starter. If I had a complaint it was the Ox Cheek croquettes. They were too soft when I took them off the baking tray. Maybe that is the point, but I could have preferred a slight croquette crunch from the breadcrumb mix, and maybe frying them off before heating would have achieved a better result. I have to say there were none left, but this is a review, so better to be picky.
The main course (half of which is resting in my fridge), was delicious. The lamb shredded, and caper and shallot dressing for the fir apple potatoes was really tasty - an add on I shall certainly recreate. No problems with the Hispi Cabbage in chilli butter or the borlotti beans. I love beans with lamb and these were spotted with small tomatoes providing a very decorative resting spot for the lamb shoulder. I served the green sauce verdi on the side aka mint sauce.
As with the lamb I have half a cabbage in the fridge and loads of beans, I should point out that neither of us has ever been accused of being mean eaters.The lamb shoulder is from Swaledale, which prompted a Google search of the Yorkshire Dales,to check where the flock might be grazing, and a talk about vets.
The caramel tart should be taken out of the fridge a couple of hours before serving, to bring it to room temperature. I know that already, but others may not and maybe that should be mentioned in the prep guide (picky again) as it makes a difference to the texture and flavour.
It certainly looked and tasted as if someone had been chained to the stove other than me.
No doubting that behind the box was one serious chef who had worked out an imaginative menu, that could cope with travel and be assembled by an amateur. It also made me remember that going to a restaurant is a fun experience, and how lovely it is to have someone else do the work to create flavours that inspire you beyond the norm.
We looked forward to our Sunday lunch from the moment the box arrived on Friday. We laid the table properly, which we haven’t done for ages, and indulged ourselves in a long and lazy treat.
‘Reclaim the weekend’ say the Tramshed Project who do all the hard work.
Well - we did.
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