Restrictions may be changing, but not everyone’s quite ready to get out there. With that in mind, we’re reviewing the best of the capital’s delivery options, so everyone can celebrate better times with seriously special food and drink.
The Hawksmoor pivoted around the pandemic, creating a handsome collection of meat-focused, finish-at-home boxes. We were lucky enough to try the Prime Rib, but cuts range from Fillet to Rib-Eye – and there’s a wealth of fancy roast dinner options.
What is it? London steak stalwart Hawksmoor update their at-home menu regularly. A selection of Sunday roasts (up to four people) and steak kits are available with or without alcohol, all centered around one fabulous cut of meat. You can rely on top notch ingredients every time, for a (mostly) pre-cooked, restaurant-quality feast in your own living room.
Can they deliver to me? Yes! Delivery stretches to anywhere in mainland Great Britain.
Sounds great… but how much cooking is involved? Aside from heating things up, just the meat, really – but I’ll level with you, it’s intimidating. Unless you usually spend your weekends firing up a Bible-thick slab of beef, large enough to give Fred Flintstone gout. Then it’ll be a breeze.
What do you get? Our Prime Rib box comprised of two bottled Negronis, a beyond huge Prime Rib cut, triple-cooked chips, wilted spinach, a fabulous bottle of red wine, and sticky toffee pudding.
Happily, this box comes with pages of printed instructions (also available on your phone via QR codes) and a YouTube video of top chef Matt Brown detailing each step. Make sure you read and watch them through at least a couple of times the morning of the big day. This’ll give you ample time to take the meat out of the fridge, nip out to buy a meat thermometer, attempt to (temporarily) unscrew the smoke alarm, and so on.
What will I need?
- Good steak knives are essential. You can’t go wrong with Viners for general chopping needs, and Opinel’s meat and poultry knife does the job nicely.
- A meat thermometer. This is crucial, but more on that later. I like professional grade Thermapens because they’re waterproof and have a battery life of 3000 (!) hours. OXO’s is dinkier, cheaper and the screen pivots, so you can read the temperature at awkward angles.
- A decent oven-proof frying pan – you’re frying off the steak then transferring it to the oven, door closed. I used Kuhn Rikon’s Allround and it was a dream. The handle barely heated up after ten minutes at the highest hob setting.
- A tray for the chips – I used a non-stick glass dish.
- Strong steel tongs – OXO’s are scalloped and work well with heavy food.
- A change of clothes – throw on a nice outfit after the steak’s sealed off and transferred to the oven. When it’s frying, there’s a LOT of smoke. Like, a lot, a lot.
- If you’re feeling really indulgent, add ice cream to the sticky toffee pud. We absolutely love Oppo‘s low calorie (yet surprisingly delicious) range. Vanilla Pecan Praline Crunch works best here.
Make sure you read through the instructions at least a couple of times...
I’m ready. Talk me through it: You’ll need to take the meat out of its packaging about 12 hours before dinner time, then allow one hour for it to come up to room temperature before cooking.
Now for the hard bit: the meat (chef Matt recommends Medium for this cut). Preheat the oven to 200C, then pat the meat dry with kitchen paper. Do your best Salt Bae impression with a ton of Maldon sea salt (use more than seems necessary), then heat the frying pan to the temperature of a thousand burning suns. Do not add oil.
Throw in a little of the beef dripping that came with the chips, and chuck on the steak. Using tongs, seal on all sides until it’s golden, then transfer the pan to the oven, shutting the door. Smoke will fill the entire house, so open a window. If you’ve made it this far without triggering the smoke alarm, award yourselves the Negronis (if you haven’t, open the wine as well).
Set a timer, so the steak cooks for ten minutes – then flip it over, and allow ten minutes for the other side. To avoid over-cooking, you might prefer to take it out a little sooner, and check the temperature with the thermometer. For a Medium steak, you want its thickest part to reach about 55C when the cooking’s done (a Prime Rib’s temperature can continue to rise by 10C while it rests for 20 minutes – you have been warned!).
While the steak rests, roast the chips for 20 minutes (shaking up at the halfway point). With five minutes to go, boil the greens, simply tossing them in the anchovy paste once cooked. The peppercorn sauce just needs a gentle heat up, then you’re good to go. We cheated and microwaved the pud – blissfully easy after trying not to torch the meat.
What I wish I’d known beforehand: Scrambling for tea towels to flap at the VERY LOUD smoke alarm was not sexy, but still part of the fun. Open *all* windows. And don’t skip the YouTube tutorials. Very helpful!
Best bit? This being Hawksmoor, the quality is excellent all round. Top marks for delivering the crunchiest, most delicious restaurant-grade chips to people’s homes (sorry Mum, but Matt Brown’s are the tits). Forgoing the dishes for the half-cut commute ‘home’ to bed is pretty epic. Oh, and the steak, of course. Perfect. Fred Flintstone would be truly impressed.
The perfect at-home experience, we’d highly recommend for a special occasion – check out The Hawksmoor’s extensive offering here.