THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
My hairdresser, despairing at the state of my lockdown hair, said I need more protein. Yay! Great excuse. BBQ!
In lockdown hell I’ve been fantasizing about a BBQ again, and now we’re allowed a modicum of socialization outdoors in the garden, nothing was going to stop me.
This was also my excuse to try 44 Foods’ large BBQ Meat Bundle (£45). Vegetarians look away now. Or go straight to the website (www.44foods.com) where they have lots of non-meaty produce. Launched this January, 44 Foods is a collective of British farmers and food producers who are passionate about ethically produced, fairly priced, sustainable food. Together, they supply fruit and veg, meat, fish, deli, and dairy and larder essentials direct from their farms to your door, and also have a selection of ‘bundles’.
That was the meat taken care of – two 21 Day Matured Scotch Rump Steaks (232g each), four Aberdeen Angus steak burgers (113g each), four Ultimate Scotch beef burgers (170g each) two marinated pork ribs (400g each), 6 traditional thick pork sausages, minted lamb kebabs (4 x 80g), a kilo of marinated chicken wings and 4 marinated chicken kebabs (62g each). Of course, if you don’t like any of this selection, or want more of some things, you can put your own selection together via the product pages on the website, where all the allergens are clearly listed. You can also add your salads, burger buns, finger rolls, sauces and Padron peppers to your order.
Our party in a box arrived – well packaged, in a strong cardboard box, with additional cardboard lining to give an air gap, then silver insulation, bubble wrap and, last but not least, a bunch of chill packs.
With a bunch of fresh salads from my greenhouse (SO on trend!) and some potatoes and more exotic salads from the greengrocers, the salads, slaw and potato salad were sorted and I added homemade BBQ sauce and salad dressing, while the charcoal did its thing. With a few sourdough french sticks and some beers, we were set to entertain.
It was such a simple but heartfelt joy to actually see friends ‘for real’ again after more than a year.
As for the BBQ, I have to tell you I’m super picky about my meat, but I wasn’t disappointed, and neither were our guests – this took the sizzle! The quality was excellent – succulent with the real taste of top-quality butcher’s fare, but with all the hard work taken out. The Aberdeen Angus steaks were thick and juicy. The lamb kebabs transported me to Greece again. The Scotch beef burgers were also thick and tasty, the pork sausages took me back to my childhood. The super marinades on the chicken wings and kebabs were very natural, as if I’d done them myself (I didn’t quite admit I hadn’t…) and were very, very moreish, and there was so much of it. Most of the meat was from JW Galloway, a Scottish family butchers established in 1920, that supplies the likes of Marks & Spencers.
I’ll be doing this again - our guests were impressed, and so were we. Roll on the warmer weather!