Michelin Quality Dining at Home
For those of us not of the vegetarian persuasion, meat tends to be the centerpiece of our meal. However, few of us these days can boast having a good butcher on our doorstep or at least one that is open at times which are convenient to us. So to be able to source high quality fresh meat from the comfort of our own sofa is a delight. This is where Meat Porter steps in.
Meat Porter is an online artisan butcher, sourcing their meat from the same British farms that supply fine-dining restaurants and delivering them to your door. From their easy to use website, you can select your cuts of meat or poultry and if you order before 3:00pm, Monday to Friday, you can receive your order the following day. Better still, delivery is free.
And I can testify to the deliciousness of the meats as last night I attended one of their supper clubs at City Island by Ballymore, run in collaboration with Simon Hulstone, chef proprietor of The Elephant in Torquay. Simon is an award winning chef who has a talent for creating memorable flavours using locally sourced, seasonal produce. This was demonstrated in the tasting menu he served us last night.
We started with Salted Toffee and Spring Pea Soup with Smoked Bacon. Simon explained the recipe to us before we started eating and despite my trying to retain the details I got a little lost after the melting of a toffee in some chicken stock. Bizarre as this sounds, the end result was amazing. The flavour of the toffee really came through into the soup and at the bottom were tiny pieces of salty smoked bacon.
This was followed by Tamworth Pork Belly and Drummond Chicken served with Caramelized Apples, Cider Gel, Baby Leeks and Pickled Baby Onions. The accompaniments were just finishing touches, leaving the pork belly and chicken to speak for themselves. They were tender and juicy and full of flavour.
Next we were served an Aylesbury Duck Breast with Jerusalem Artichoke Puree, Star Anise and Duck Fat Confit Heritage Carrots. I must confess that duck is my absolute favourite meat and I certainly wasn’t disappointed with this meal. However, what did surprise me was that each portion contained only half a breast and we certainly were not left hungry.
As we all tucked into our final course of Warm Vanilla Rice Pudding with Rhubarb, we were given a talk by Stefan Porter, Founder & Managing Director of Meat Porter. Stefan started his career at Lidl, so he is well aware that the average consumer is constrained by a budget. However, most of us are also concerned with the quality of what we are feeding our bodies and want to know exactly what we are getting if we buy organic. Stefan has visited all his suppliers and only works with British, free range farmers. Although the finer details may be too much information for some, he can trace his meat right back to when it was grazing in a field. The quality is such that it is the same as is being supplied to some of the leading fine-dining restaurants. As cooking becomes more and more popular, it’s good to know that you can serve up a homemade dish with the same quality ingredients as a Michelin starred chef (although the end result is down to you!)
Prices are comparable to the higher end supermarkets and you can build your own box or choose from one of their pre-packed suggestions on the website. For example, a luxury box which includes fillet steak, venison steaks, duck breast and a rack of lamb, is priced at £46. Or if you’re “feeling thrify” a box containing, sausages, bacon, mince, chicken and duck legs is priced at £32.
Deliveries come in smart boxes, designed to keep your meat chilled for up to 32 hours. This is because inside they are lined like a coolbox and the meat vacuum packed and laid between ice packs and surrounded by straw.
See for yourself at their website, where you will also find some exclusive recipes and handy cooking tips from Simon Hulstone: www.meatporter.com