With guests, Mr S and family, visiting for the weekend, I needed to make sure that I had all the bases covered. I stocked up the larder with enough food to withstand any siege and waited to see what the weekend brought us. I failed to check the weather forecast so missed the inevitable all day down-pour that blessed us today.
With a little forethought, I had assumed that a full roast would go down well at some point during the weekend. I had already defrosted a topside joint that we'd received in our Swillington Farm meat box, but I thought that it might have been a tad small for four adults and two children*. I popped to Sainsbury's with Mr S to buy a matching joint leaving our other halves and children at home to make lunch.
In the short time it took us to buy beef, beer and broccoli, Z had turned the kitchen into a pizzeria with the kids covered in flour and the pizza dough for our lunches resting under a tea towel. If you have little ones of your own, please can I recommend making pizza from scratch as a rainy day activity. Mr S's daughter (aged 4 1/2) declared that her pizza was the best she had ever tasted because she had made it herself.
Pizza devoured I cracked on with the heroics of the roast beef. Having two identical lumps of cow, I decided that it would be fun to have a blind taste off. Only I knew which of the joints was the organic, rare breed, outdoor reared beef from Swillington and which was the Taste the Difference beef from Sainsbury's. I cooked both with equal respect and served them side by side. We all took a slice from each pile and ruminated on our mastications.
The result was unanimous, the first roast had a really good texture but the flavour of the second joint was superb and was the preferred meat. It was at that point that I announced that the Taste the Difference meat from Sainsbury's was the first joint and we all preferred the meat from Swillington Farm. I can't tell you the price difference as the price per £ wasn't printed on the Swillington label but as part of a meat box I have always found their meat to be good value and tasty.
In all of the excitement, I forgot to take any pictures of the meal. Alongside the two beef joints I served carrots, broad beans with chorizo, broccoli, jersey royal potatoes and home made Yorkshire puddings. I even managed to make proper gravy. There was, of course, plenty of meat left over but there would not have been enough for us all without the second joint. There was nothing wrong with the meat from Sainsbury's but if you get the chance do try the meat from Swillington** the flavour is second to none.
*R may be little but he can eat like a horse.
**or whoever your local rare breed farm is, they need your support and produce a fine product.