Aktar @ Home

The crowd-pleasing Sunday roast is the meal that’s most highly anticipated at Brum Living towers.

We’ve tried going out, but we’re almost always disappointed because we are such creatures of habit. Cue cries of ‘it’s just not the same’ which is both flattering and slightly annoying because let’s face it, the mighty roast is a bit of a faff.

We all have a different idea of what makes the perfect roast and generally, it seems largely based on nostalgia rather than brilliant cooking. Each family has its own take on the classic meal whether that’s thick gravy you can stand your spoon up in versus more of a jus or cauliflower cheese versus leeks. It’s personal, but in the middle of the second lockdown we branched out and ordered one of Aktar Islam’s roasts.

Pick up day was a Thursday (nationwide delivery is available too), so the main challenge was waiting until Sunday while a beautiful looking piece of beef (Argentinian sirloin) and all the trimmings lay temptingly in the fridge. There was a loaf in the package, which felt a bit random. We warmed it through in the oven and snaffled it immediately with hefty slabs of butter and cheese. Delicious.

We’ve prepared a few at home meals in 2020 and this was one of the easiest. There were a couple of typos, such as stages repeated in the instructions, but with half a brain, you’ll work it out. Everything was vac packed and all accompaniments literally needed decanting and heating up. The beef needed minimal faffing – searing in a very hot skillet pan and transferring to the oven for 10 minutes gave us rare tender meat. Roasties had been pre-cooked, so they just needed a blast in the oven which resulted in crisp, fluffy, damn near perfect tatties.

The highlight was probably the truffled cauliflower cheese which came with a garlic-packed crunchy crumb to sprinkle on top which took it to the next level. The carrots were buttery and flavour-packed and probably some of the best we’ve eaten. The creamed cabbage didn’t go down too well. The mustardy flavour was nice, but it was just a bit crunchy and slaw-like which was too much of a leap for us. Yorkies were as big as saucers and perfect vehicles for the rich moreish bone marrow and Malbec gravy. Portions were really generous. One kilo of beef meant we had plenty left over for sandwiches the next day.

Would we do it again? Yes probably. At £60 with more than enough food for four it was pretty reasonable. If you bought a top notch cut of beef plus all the ingredients to cook at home from scratch, you’d be hard pushed to do it for less and more than that, the effort required and mess generated was practically none.

Aktar at Home, Opheem, 65 Summer Row, Birmingham, B3 1JJ aktarathome.co.uk