The Sunday roast: this great British institution has long brought families together to eat meat, gravy and all the trimmings. Whatever trimmings are. We fondly remember gatherings at our own childhood homes, or maybe those of nearby relatives, where grown-ups having started with a thimbleful of sweet sherry might drink a small glass of red wine with their beef, and the youngest children would be grudgingly allowed to leave the mashed swede so long as they ate everything else.
As families dispersed, this weekly multi-generational dining ritual withered somewhat. No longer easy to get together, and at least one teenager renouncing meat, the Sunday lunch ritual has – at least for us – faded to a pleasant memory. Plus we never get up early enough. But that weekly yen for slabs of roasted meat and insane amounts of vegetables has never left us, and by the number of pubs and restaurants that offer Sunday lunches it would seem we are not alone.
Now we are all confined to barracks due to the interminable COVID-19, it seems like the perfect time to reignite our ovens and slam in the lamb. However, even if we rediscover the joys of trimmings, we can’t invite our nearest and dearest to break bread with us – unless, of course we are the man who invented the lockdown.
We’ve been enjoying our Friday night takeaways, but this week we could no longer resist the allure of a Sunday roast. We’re not going to go to all the faff of scraping parsnips and having our oven on for hours in this stifling heat while a piece of meat goes through its paces. No, we got the team at the Hungry Bear to do that for us while we had a relaxing lie-in and waited for lunch to arrive on our doorstep.
At the appointed time, there was a knock on the door and, on the threshold was a big foil dish and some smaller receptacles, plus a sheet of instructions.
We were unable to resist taking a peek under the tin lid. For two of us, this was a mighty fine portion. Three meats – chicken, pork and beef, plus sausages wrapped in bacon – and a vast array of vegetables were poised to be reheated. All very simple, giving us twenty minutes to set the table.
When we finally took the steaming parcel from the oven and unveiled it for real it was a truly astounding sight – a heroic amount of food. Hefts of meat, and plenty of vegetables ready-roasted or pre-steamed. Cat snaffled the two thick chicken breast slices and Matt served himself most of the remaining red meat. We piled on the veg, plus stuffing balls, sausages and Yorkshire puddings. In lieu of a gravy boat, Matt put his Pyrex jug on the table, which was filled with thick warmed gravy, containing tangible bits of meat. With about a pint of rich, meaty gravy for only two of us this was a copious supply.
Sunday roast platter for two £25
Puddings 2 @ £3.50
Delivery to Ryde £3
Cat’s experience of Yorkshire puddings was clouded when, as a girl, she was served a pud which had been cooked in way too much of the traditional dripping. She turned her nose up at it, eschewing them ever since. The Hungry Bear Yorkies were a revelation to her. She discovered a pleasure that so many others have been enjoying for years – a Yorkshire pudding doesn’t have to be a vehicle for transporting loads of damp fat to Cat’s mouth. The fresh Hungry Bear Yorkshire, delivered individually foil-wrapped, was fluffy and light, with a rather sweet tang.
Another unexpected pleasure – and arguably the ultimate trimming – was the pair of sausages wrapped in bacon. While the traditional pigs-in-blankets are made with modest chipolatas, these tasty behemoths were more like hippos-in-blankets.
Our Sunday lunchtime was going exceptionally well – and there was more to come. We’d decided to go all-in, and ordered Hungry Bear desserts to follow. Apple crumble and roly-poly pudding were our choices, topped with a dose of hot, creamy custard. Your nan would have been proud.
Leaning back in our chairs after our meal, we felt replete and happy. We could almost conjure up the convivial atmosphere of a cosy country pub afternoon once Sunday lunch is done, with a few patrons chatting lazily at the bar, a jukebox playing quietly in the background as a cheerful landlord clears the plates from the table. Alas such fantasies remain unobtainable so long as lockdown persists for pubs and restaurants, but until then, we can heartily recommend the substantial and enjoyable Hungry Bear Sunday Roast delivery.
This is the full-length version of the review first published in the Isle of Wight County Press.
- Huge quantity
- Traditional roast with all the trimmings
- Efficient delivery
- Simple prep
- Extra charge for delivery