Sunday, 23 October 2011

Life, Fork & Spoon by James Martin

Ready meals are not my thing….I enjoy cooking too much, but going away on a self-catering holiday in Scotland I decided to try the meals created by James Martin on his Life, Fork & Spoon range.
Meals can be delivered to any address in mainland UK. I had them delivered at home before we left and we just took them up with us, but it might be possible to get them delivered directly at your holiday home (please check with the owner of the holiday property) All meals come with clear and easy to follow reheating instructions and for the first night we opted for braised gammon hock with a mustard and honey sauce.
The meat was succulent and full of flavour and it is what we would call a Yorkshire portion. Lots & lots there! There is plenty of sauce with it too. This is plate-licking good! We had our gammon with “French potatoes” my variation of dauphinoise potatoes which layers the potatoes with onions & cheese.
On the first night we decided on the lemon drizzle sponge for our sweet and this also went down a treat. The sauce gets delivered in a pouch of it’s own to be reheated separately so it can be poured over the sponge just before serving. We just added a bit of cream to it, nice but not absolutely necessary as the sponge and sauce are full of flavour themselves: sweet and with a lovely lemony tang
On night two we went for the steak & ale pie (in the picture served with a Caesar salad). Once again an ample portion, the pie was full of flavour and had some good chunks of steak in it. The pastry was lovely and crumbly too.
For afters we had the tarte tatin. And although the pastry was good and the apples lovely, I missed the caramel that I get when I make an apple tarte tatin from scratch. My OH said he really liked it, I definitely missed the caramel.
The last of our Life, Fork & Spoon meals of the week was the Beef Bordelaise with pancetta and red wine. As soon as I opened the pouches a beautiful aroma wafted my way. This smelled promising and it didn’t disappoint. 3 very generous chunks of beef, beautifully soft onion, pancetta and plenty of red wine sauce. Comfort food at it’s best. I agree it would be absolutely wonderful with a creamy mash & seasonal vegetables, but after a 7 hour car journey the thought of peeling & boiling potatoes to make a mash was not one I cherished. So we opted for some really crusty bread and butter to go with it. The bread was great to mop up all the lovely sauce. Another definite triumph in this range of  ready meals.

To finish this meal off, we went for James’s signature dish of white chocolate & whisky bread pudding. Well, what can I say about this dessert that has not been said before. The combination of the soft in the middle, crunchy on the outside croissant with currants and a creamy custard is always a winner and a worthy conclusion of our exploration of the Life, Fork Spoon range.
As I said at the start, I don’t do ready meals normally and I am not about to change this anytime soon. But it is great to know that there is a good quality & very yummy range of ready meals out there for when you want it.


  1. Life,fork & spoon have contacted me and assured me that they will re-introduce the caramel sauce to the tarte tatin :) Looks like it will have to try it again ;-)

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