Thursday, 11 August 2011

Restaurant quality food at home: David Oliver Fine Foods

As a home cook, I don't often buy ready meals, not because I think they're substandard or because I'm snobbish in any way, but I just love to cook, so it rather goes against one of the parts I enjoy about food.
On this occasion it may seem odd that I'm writing about pre-prepared meals, but I was given the opportunity to try some restaurant quality complete meals and give my feedback on them. It's not often that I get the chance to test out something as premium as these so obviously I was enthusiastic.

David Oliver Fine Foods produce a range of dishes using the finest ingredients from specially selected sources and prepare them using the same techniques that are used in quality restaurant kitchens.
The creators David Holliday and Oliver Shute, both chefs and friends, set up their business to make exceptional ready meals, recognising that there was a lack of good quality complete meals that led to them feeling frustrated by the mediocre offerings.

David has a wealth of experience in the world of food, he was the head chef at The Pot Kiln and later went on to run The Harwood Arms in Fulham, the first London pub to receive a Michelin Star. He now owns his own catering business, Season 2 Taste, based in Henley-on-Thames.
Oliver too is well experienced in food, he has worked with Clarissa Dickson Wright and as a private chef to distinguished guests at Scottish castles to chateaux in France and luxury chalets in Chamonix. He now runs his own outside catering company, The Pot Kiln Anywhere and co-owns The Game and Wild Food Cookery School.

Knowing about their background I was expecting something really good and I wasn't disappointed.
There are four meals in the range: British Beef & Dorset Ale, Guinea Fowl & Lentils, Rabbit & Flageolet Beans and Classic Venison Stew. All are complete meals which means you get a good balance of meat and vegetables in a satisfying sauce. No need to serve them with anything more than a piece of crusty bread.

British Beef & Dorset Ale
This stew is described as being able to take you back to the sort of meal that your grandmother used to make with its earthy root vegetables, melt in the mouth Yorkshire beef and deep rich beer gravy. I think I could agree. The beef is indeed meltingly tender and the vegetables (carrots, swede, turnip and mushrooms) are perfectly cooked and even after reheating they retain a good texture. The flavour is deeply savoury and comforting, enriched with butter and honey and flavoured with thyme, perfect for a cold evening.

Guinea Fowl & Lentils
Claiming to be be a "bit of a show stopper" because it contains a whole breast of guinea fowl in it. I loved it, not just beacause of the whole breast, but because of the moistness of the meat which is flavoursome and tender. The mixture of puy lentils, carrots and smokey pieces of bacon cooked with wine are the perfect accompaniment, wholesome and fulfilling. I maybe would have preferred the skin on the guinea fowl to have been crisp – but bearing in mind the way it has to be heated that wouldn't be achievable without drying out the meat – but it was fine nevertheless.

Rabbit & Flageolet Beans
The first thing that hits me is the lovely scented herbal flavour from the rosemary which gently suffuses the whole dish. As well as the beans, there are courgettes which are perfectly cooked. They have not turned to a mushy consistency which is very pleasing. The large pieces of rabbit have a good flavour although they are slightly on the chewy side. I haven't had rabbit very often, but I do know that it needs some long slow cooking to make it more tender.

Classic Venison Stew
David Oliver rightly declares venison as being the "king of meats" although I personally don't agree that it is underrated. This dish though, has certainly done it justice with big chunks of tender venison cooked in a red wine sauce, with sizeable pieces of sweet potato and new potato. It has a great flavour, not too gamey and the pieces of smoked bacon give it nice roundness. A good robust stew and my favourite.

They are all great meals if you're looking for high quality food that doesn't have any unnecessary ingredients or additives. They'd be fantastic for a dinner party and a sure fire way to impress your guests. Whether you choose to hide the packs or not, is up to you!

For more information and to order online visit: www.davidoliverfood.co.uk
Pictures taken from the David Oliver Fine Foods website


Related Posts with Thumbnails

A Delicious Cloud

:: Cuisine: Asian :: Cuisine: British :: Cuisine: Chinese :: Cuisine: Danish :: Cuisine: European :: Cuisine: Finnish :: Cuisine: French :: Cuisine: Greek :: Cuisine: Hungarian :: Cuisine: Icelandic :: Cuisine: Indian :: Cuisine: Italian :: Cuisine: Mediterranean :: Cuisine: Mexican :: Cuisine: Middle Eastern :: Cuisine: Moroccan :: Cuisine: North African :: Cuisine: Norwegian :: Cuisine: Oriental :: Cuisine: Scandinavian :: Cuisine: Swedish :: Cuisine: Thai "Spouse Specials" A Slice of Cherry Pie A Taste of the Unexpected Absolute Press Accompaniments Aiden Byrne Alan Coxon Alcoholic Drinks Ale-Gar Almond Ancient Greek Vinaigre Anjum Anand Apples Aromettes Ashbourne Asparagus Bacon. Baileys Real Food Company Bakewell Baking Barbecue Basil BBC Beans Bed and Breakfast Beef Beetroot Bere Marsh Farm Beverages Bill Granger Bill McCarrick Bipin's Masala Birthday Biscuits and Cookies Bish Muir Blackberries Blackberry Blagger's Banquet Blakeney Bolludagur Book Reviews Books Bramley Apple Week Bramley Apples Bread Breakfast Breckland Orchard Breton Breton Cake Brett Cohen Bristol Britain British British Pie Week British Sausage Week Brittany Brunch Brussels Sprouts Bun Day Buns Bursting Day Butternut Squash. C.J. Jackson Cafe Cakes Carrots Casseroles • Stews Celebrations Cheeky Spouse Cheese Cherries Cherry Chestnuts Chicken Chives Chocolate chocolate cake Chocolate Unwrapped Chocri Christmas Chutney Cider Claire Martinsen Clarissa Dickson Wright Cley Cley Smoke House Cley-next-the-Sea Cloudberries Cloudberry Coast Coffee Cold Remedy Comfort Food Competition Condiments Confectionery Conversions Cookbooks Cool Cuisine Côtes d'Armor Cotswold Legbar Crackers Cream Cripbreads Culture Curries Dairy Damian Allsop Danish Danyel Couet David Oliver Fine Foods David Thompson Derbyshire Desserts Distillery Douwe Egberts Douwe Egberts Aromettes Dressings and Marinades Drinks Easter Eating Out Edible Flowers Eggs Elderberries Elderberry Elderflowers Europe Events Farm Farmhouse Breakfast Week Fennel Festivals and Shows Fettouma Benikrane Finland Fish Fish at the Fox Fish Market Fishmonger Flapjacks Flavoured Bread Flavours and Spices® Flax Flax Farm Flowers Food By Alan Coxon Food from Many Greek Kitchens foodbyalancoxon.com Foodies Festival France Frugal Fruit Fudge Fudge Kitchen Gadgets Gaia's Kitchen Game ganache Gardening Gin Gingerbread Gordon Ramsay Great Glen Game Greece Green Books Hafod Cheese Henry Dimbleby Herbs Hertfordshire Historic Food Historic Food Range History Hodder and Stoughton Holkham Holkham Beach Honey How To I Love Curry Iceland In Print In the Media Ingredients Jam Jamie at Home Jamie Oliver John Vincent Jon Birchall Josceline Dimbleby Julia Parsons Julia Ponsonby Karen Nethercott Kent King's Walden Kitchen Garden Kitchen Garden Companion Kitchen Helper Kitchen Tips KoL Lactofree Lactose Intolerance Lahloo Tea Lamb Lanvollon Lavender Leftovers lemon Lemon Balm Lent Leon Leon Book 2 Naturally Fast Food Letchworth Food Festival 2010 Letchworth Garden City Letchworth Living Light Meals Linseed Local Producers London Loquats Love Farm Made in Great Britain Madhur Jaffrey Madhur Jaffrey's Ultimate Curry Bible Madsen Magazine Magog Muffins Main Course Mark Diacono Marsh Marsh Samphire MasterChef LIVE 2009 Matt Armendariz Meat Medieval Mediterranean Merchant Gourmet Mexico Milk Mint Moomins Cookbook Moroccan Cooking Muffins Murdoch Books MyBooks Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir National Chocolate Week National Curry Week Natoora New Holland Publishers News Nordic Norfolk Occasions Offley Hoo Oils On A Stick Open Farm Sunday Oregano Oysters Pancake Day Pancakes Paris Pasta Pastes Pastries Pastry Paul Wayne Gregory Peak District Peas Picnic Fayre Delicatessen Pie. Pies • Flans • Tarts Pilkington Farms Plums Pork Pies Pork. Potatoes Potty: Clarissa's One Pot Cookbook Poultry Pre-Prepared Foods Preserving and Pickling Press Product Reviews Products Puddings Quadrille Publishing Quickasteam Quince Quirk Books Rabbit Radio Radishes Radisson Blu Hotels Ramsay's Best Menus Ramsoms Rants Raspberries Raspberry Raw Food Raw Nibbles Read and Reviewed Ready Meals Real Food Festival 2008 Real Food Festival 2010 Recipes Every Man Should Know Relish Restaurants Reviews Reykjavik Rice • Grains • Pulses Risotto roasting Roman Vinaigre Rosemary Sage Salads Salmon Salt Marsh salted caramel Saltmarsh Sambocade Sami Malila Samphire Samphire Shop Sandwich Sauces Sausages Savoury Pancakes Scandinavian Scandinavian Cookbook Scandinavian Kitchen Sea Seafood Seeds SelfMadeHero Sereena; Alexa; Priya Kaul Serious Pig Shake Up Your Wake Up Shellfish Shopping Shrove Tuesday Simon and Schuster Sipsmith Skyr Sloe Wine Smoked Fish Smoked Haddock Snacking Salami Snacks Soup Special Offer Spices Spirits Sprengidagur Spring Taster Box Squash Squirrel St David's Day Stephanie Alexander Stocks Stories Strawberries Suffolk Summer Susan Russo Sweetmeats Tea teapigs Tesco Tessa Kiros Tests Thai Food The Artisan Food Trail The Artisan Smokehouse The Big Chocolate Tea Party The Big Yum The Billingsgate Market Cookbook The Chocolate Festival The Great Exhibition 2012 The Josceline Dimbleby Collection The Kitchen Trials The Pearl Fisher The Scandinavia Show The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook The Use-It-All Cookbook Thomasina Miers Three Counties Kitchen Three Counties Radio Thyme Tips Toastabags Tomatoes Total Greek Yogurt Tove Jansson Tracklements Traditions Travels Tried and Tasted Trina Hahnemann Twitter Two Fat Ladies Union Hand-Roasted Vegan Vegetables Vegetarian Vinegar Vodka Wahaca Wales Watercress Week Watercress. Weights and Measures West Whelks Whitstable Wild Food and Foraging Wild Garlic William Curley Willian Winter Warmers Wiveton Wiveton Hall Wiveton Hall Fruit Farm Writing Yogurt