[Manchester] Sam's Chop House - Home Service

Sam’s was very near the top of our list of restaurants to revisit once restrictions were lifted. But no reopening date has been given yet (and I can well understand the difficulties posed by the layout of the restaurant and bar). So, we thought we’d give their Home Service a try for dinner. As with a number of the area’s restaurants, they’ve put together “meal kits” of part-cooked food that just needs finishing off a home. Order one day before 6pm and it’s delivered the next day.

Anyone who knows Sam’s will know that their “thing” is traditional British food, but with a modern twist. And often with regional produce. For the home delivery service, they’ve mainly gone with classic roast dinners. The sort of meal that, on a really, really good day, you could turn out yourself. So, a homestyle meal without any of the hassle.

There was long cooked shoulder of Pennine lamb. It’s boned, rolled and cooked in stock for hours, till it’s falling apart tender. You put it in a dish, with some of the excellent gravy and heat it through in the oven for 15 minutes or so. You also put the roast potatoes in at the same time. Keep the oven on when these have finished, as the Yorkshire puds just need a couple of minutes to heat and crisp up. And there’s a dish of vegetables – carrot, cauliflower, broccoli and green beans – also just needed heating through. We steamed them but you could microwave or boil to finish them. Sam’s also supplies a thick slice of butter to stir through the veg. And there’s a belting mint and Bramley apple sauce to go with everything. Dessert is a choice between sticky toffee pudding or lemon posset topped with almonds. We ordered the posset which was nice and citrussy.

This was all really enjoyable and we’d consider ordering again – just for a change from cooking ourselves. The Home Service menu includes their steak pudding and corned beef hash – both of which are excellent comfort dishes in the restaurant and, I presume, will work just as well at home. And the leftover gravy (this was a very generous serving) is now in the freezer – all ready to be reused next time we make a shepherd’s pie.

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A friend of mine who lives in Bedford makes the most beautiful Yorkshire pudding from scratch. I could never ever get mine look as good as hers. Here are the latest ones which she made at home in June & July.

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We don’t have the gift of making good Yorkshires, either.

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Nor I. Am hopeless at them. Those look great, Peter. John, I haven’t tried any of these kits but would love to. Not going to happen though. My partner would choke. I’d like to try the Dishoom bacon naan kit, and something from Sambal Shiok or Singburi, both Malaysian. PS steak pudding sounds yummy.

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It is. Like a really, really good version of the (probably) Hollands one you get from your favourite chippy. We’d decided to order the same dishes, so the reheating would be easier for us, otherwise, it’s what I would have been having. I’m presuming here that a steak pudding is as popular a chippy item “dahn sarf” as it is “oop norf”

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold