Why our Slow Cooked Roasts are perfect for Christmas

As a chef, I just love Christmas. It’s hardly surprising – a lot of the celebrations tend to revolve around food. For me, there’s nothing finer than presenting my loved ones with a fantastic feast, into which I’ve put lots of thought, preparation and sheer hard work. But no matter how much I enjoy cooking, sometimes I just want a day off! The day after I’ve prepared that very same feast, I’ll probably just want to sit around watching Christmas films with my family (so long as it’s not ‘Frozen’ yet again!)


That’s when our Slow Cooked Roasts are simply perfect. Do you remember Stefan telling you all about them when we first created them? Here’s the link. I can take one of these straight out of the freezer, pop it in the oven and forget about it. No basting, no turning – nothing. Sometimes I even throw some veg in the roasting tin with it while it cooks, for a real ‘one tray wonder’.


And it doesn’t matter if I take my eye off the ball, because I simply can’t go wrong (handy when relatives turn up and everyone starts chatting at once!). I set the timer to tell me when it’s ready, and I’ve got guaranteed soft, succulent, flavoursome meat, with plenty of delicious juices, in a fraction of the time it would usually take. Whether it’s a classic beef roast, a juicy pork one, or tasty lamb, we’ve got them all covered.

So plan in a day off this Christmas, with our Slow Cooked Roasts. You deserve it!

Take it easy,


PS. Maybe you’re visiting relatives or friends yourself? Why not arrange for one of these to be sent while you’re there? It’s a really generous gesture, and it means you’ll get at least one great meal – guaranteed!

Posted by Eddie in Beef, Lamb & Pork   |  Leave a comment

Pioneers in quality frozen meat

It’s been 17 years since we first starting freezing our steaks and other cuts for our customers.

Donald Russell Direct had only been going for around a year, and we had been sending steaks out to customers fresh, packed with traditional ice packs. It was a rapid learning curve, and when chatting to our customers as they called to place their next order, we realised that almost everyone was freezing the majority of their steaks once they’d been delivered.


Freezing steaks at home can have mixed results. Domestic freezers aren’t all the same and few can be set to freeze at a low enough temperature to not affect the texture of the meat. Also, if the customer wasn’t careful, the chilled steaks – which would be at a much higher temperature than anything already frozen – could incidentally thaw some of the other items being stored in the freezer before reaching freezing point themselves.

It made much more sense for us to freeze the products for our customers instead. So we invested in equipment, and purpose-built our own blast freeze where our vacuum packed meat could be ‘shock frozen’ super quick, at a super low temperature. This ensured customers would never experience toughness by freezer burn, or any other change to the quality of the meat through dodgy home-freezing.


Back then, we would cut and prepare everything on a customers’ list before freezing the complete order. This could sometimes mean that steaks cut a little further down the primal (i.e. the whole sirloin, for example) could be slightly further matured than those cut the day or so earlier. A customer could then theoretically get a slightly different level of maturation from order to order.

We also used to pack our steaks in pairs, which we realised wasn’t as handy for customers who may just want to take one out of the freezer. So we started vacuum packing each steak individually, and professionally shock freezing each batch of them there and then. This guarantees excellent consistency of flavour and tenderness (something we have since built our reputation on), as each steak is perfectly frozen in time, right at the moment of its optimum maturation.


It was a risky approach, going frozen – we were pioneers! At that time, frozen food still had an association for being substandard. We had to work hard to convince people that by starting with the best quality meat, matured properly and hand cut prior to freezing, the results could be better than ‘fresh’ meat. We had to earn our customers’ trust with the products themselves, and have never forgotten that our reputation is only as good as your last steak.

I’m so glad we decided to ‘go frozen’. The public is finally coming round to the fantastic quality benefits of having their meat prepared in this way, and I can honestly say we’ve never looked back!

Mark Farquhar
Head Butcher

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Petra Pennington, Food Writer



Morels are curious looking mushrooms. Their cap is composed of an open, honeycomb texture which makes them look almost like small walnuts rather than mushrooms, and their taste is just as enigmatic.

Totally unique among mushrooms, Morels are prized only beneath the truffles of haute cuisine by gourmets and foodies across the globe. Their flavour is difficult to describe – nutty, earthy and full of almost fermented umami notes, making it at once addictively moreish and savoured by the discerning palate.

Because of their distinctive flavour qualities, a little goes a long way with Morels. Again we have chosen the finest, most youthful specimens for your home-cooked creations. There is no need to clean, slice or chop – their dainty forms will evenly pepper a cream sauce like soft, savoury sultanas, spreading their exquisite flavour throughout.



Morels in Cream Sauce

Serves 4

Melt 2 tbsp unsalted butter in a heavy-bottomed, shallow saucepan over a medium heat.

Add 2 crushed cloves of garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper, then add 100g Morels, continuing to cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened

Pour in 400ml whipping cream and a splash of Madeira/Marsala, heating slowly and allowing it to simmer for 3-4 minutes.

When the sauce has reached a velvety smooth consistency, remove from the heat.

Stir in 10-15g chopped parsley and serve spooned over your favourite steak, cutlet or stirred through fresh, ‘al dente’ pasta.

Petra Pennington

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