Freezer ready’gourmet’ food adds to Donald Russell’s enormous range of reliable.

The posh recipe books always encourage us to’befriend your local butcher’ to get great advice and the best cuts of meat. Well my local butcher’s looks more like the scene of a recent massacre and I don’t think the staff would react kindly to any enquiries about pork chops.

Having a good local, traditional, butcher these days usually means either living in the country or in one of London’s ivory postcodes. Many of us rely on the supermarket instead.

And that’s okay, the choice isn’t bad but aside from the big W the meat’s usually rather lacklustre. When you want to do a bit of gourmet entertaining you can run into difficulties.

Interweb to the rescue. Why not order online and fill yer freezer? Donald Russellhave been doing online meat for ages, a massive choice of meats delivered to your door ready to be stashed away. Their latest offer is Ã¢â‚¬ËœFreezer ready Ã¢â‚¬Ëœgourmet’ food. It’s made up of Connoisseur’s Steak, Alpine Fries, Marinated Salmon Fillets, Chicken Skewers and a new Italian Pizza selection.

The steaks we received were nicely marbled rib eyes 35 day matured and packed with their own certificate signed by one of their four senior butchers.  Which is a nice touch and if you have any complaints you know to call up and moan to. Nothing to moan about here, they were excellent grilled on the Prakti because it’s a sin to cook great steak over anything but charcoal isn’t’ it?

We teamed the steaks with the Alpine Fries, which are actually a form of rosti hence the Alpine moniker. They cook straight from frozen but don’t think oven chips as these ever came out this fluffy, crunchy and tasty and just needing a light dusting of Halen Mon salt.

One of our household’s go to weekday meals is salmon fillet quickly glazed with soy sauce, mirin, pomegranate molasses or honey, some fresh chili, garlic and ginger then pan-fried and served with a squidge of lemon on a pile of rice. Well someone at Donald Russell must have heard because they’ve made their own version.

RSPCA assured Scottish salmon pre marinated is successful, in that it’s almost as good as ours. The fish is fine and it’s a bit of a timesaver but I’d still make my own.

Chicken skewers? Yes, handy things to have around. Good that these are made with thigh and not breast, it means they stay moister and have more flavour. We pan fried them as it was raining outside, but even without the charcoal charring there was plenty of taste.

And finally those pizzas, two made in the little boat shape (barchetta) and two as frustas these proved good for fast snacking as they cooked in fifteen minutes from frozen. Good crisp bases, decent toppings and apparently made in Italy too. So that’s okay.

The Donald Russell catalogue has truly become enormous but they’ve held on to quality. Check out everything they offer and discover the joy of home delivery.