Haste Ye Back dining is the new offering from the Achray House Hotel at St Fillans, Crieff. Brian Stormont gave their “dine-at home” boxes a try.
Having enjoyed success with their “at home” range, The Achray House Hotel in Highland Perthshire has launched their new Haste Ye Back range.
“Finish-at-Home” and “Create-at-Home” provide two different dining options for people to prepare three-course meals without leaving the house.
And just so the youngsters aren’t missed out, the Haste Ye Back range also includes gourmet kids’ boxes to encourage children to get into the kitchen.
Finish-at-Home is just that – a 90-95% prepared, three-course meals delivered monthly. Create-at-Home is 75% done and with each box you will learn some new skills.
Each subscriber will get a sous-vide wand (which will help achieve restaurant-quality results) and other items of equipment every few months that will be used in the menus and videos.
The ingredients in the boxes keep for 72 hours so there is no need to make plans to use them on the evening after you receive your delivery.
Idea was simple
Chef and patron of Achray House, Ryan McCutcheon, explained the ethos behind the ranges now available.
He said: “With Haste Ye Back the idea was simple to me. We all have that restaurant we can’t wait to go to for dinner again and so we ‘hurry back’.
“Having a young family myself I understand how difficult date night can be to come by. I want to make restaurant-quality dining more accessible to people at home, especially for those with families.
“My aim is to help encourage kids to eat more by providing at home meal kits which allow children to learn to make their own dinner and essentially improve their relationship with food.
“Haste Ye Back is an at home food subscription box aimed at providing something for everyone and the one we hope you ‘hurry back’ for.”
Having been given the opportunity to try these out, I was particularly interested in the gourmet kids’ box.
And so it seems was my daughter, Cari, who is 15, couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen and make her dish, despite my wife, Karen, and I wanting to enjoy our food the following evening.
An easy to follow menu sheet is provided and Cari quickly got all her ingredients laid out and off she went creating her chicken parmesan.
Chef Ryan has penned a helpful message for young chefs and cooking instructions, also including safety instructions and stressing the need to wash hands and get an adult to help if need be.
All Cari had to do was press the breadcrumbs on to the chicken, then fry for a few minutes either side and until golden brown, before covering tomato sauce, bechamel sauce and parmesan, and baking in the oven for 14 minutes.
As the chicken was finishing cooking, all she then had to do was microwave the potatoes and tender stem broccoli and plate up.
Easy and fun
As Cari is 15 I had no worries about how she would cope with the cooking. However, the recipe was easy and fun to do, and I would say children of all ages could easily do it with varying degrees of supervision.
And the real winner was the food itself – it was absolutely delicious, something I can say with a degree of authority as she insisted her mum and I both tried some.
Cari said: “I really enjoyed making the chicken parmesan and it is a nice idea to have your own meal to go with your mum and dad’s. I love chicken, but I also love tomato sauce and parmesan so this was perfect for me.
“It was really easy and it was fun making your own dinner from a box of ingredients. It felt quite special and it felt like you had done it all yourself.”
Cider and onion soup starter
For us adults, there was a three-course dinner featuring cider and onion soup, Perthshire lamb and raspberry cranachan.
Reading through the instruction sheet provided, I was immediately impressed by the fact that chef Ryan has planned everything to flow seamlessly from the moment you turn your oven on to heat up and take your lamb out of the fridge to allow it to come up to room temperature.
The starter, cider and onion soup, was simplicity itself.
All I had to do was heat the cheese beignets in the oven for four minutes while I heated the soup which could be done on the hob or in the microwave.
The soup was delicious, with a lovely smooth consistency and not overpowering bearing in mind it was made with onion and cider.
This wasn’t a combination I had tried before, but it worked well for me and was a lovely way to begin the meal.
Perthshire lamb main
For the Perthshire lamb, the herb crust was already made for me and all I had to do was pop it on the fat and put the lamb rack in the oven.
A cooking chart was provided so you could cook the lamb to your liking; medium/rare, medium and well done.
We decided to cook our lamb medium. Two minutes before your lamb was ready you popped the mushroom and tomato in the oven. Then, while they were cooking and the lamb was resting, you heated the other components of the dish – mashed potato, ratatouille and lamb sauce.
We then had the simple job of plating the lamb up and enjoying the food.
I say simple job, but we were so excited to try the lamb that we forgot to add the mushroom and tomato until we were halfway through. This in no way detracted from our enjoyment. In fact, it was a nice “surprise” when we remembered and added it.
We love lamb, so this was eagerly anticipated and didn’t disappoint. Resting of the lamb is absolutely key and the meat, having been rested for six minutes, carved beautifully.
The sauce for the lamb had a beautiful sheen and was the perfect pairing with the lamb. I wasn’t sure about the ratatouille as it wasn’t a combination I had ever sampled before. However, as well as adding some amazing vibrant colour to the plate, it did indeed work.
I love my potatoes, and mashed in particular. These did not disappoint, Beautifully smooth and creamy, they were even more flavoursome when enjoyed with slithers of tender lamb and some of the luscious sauce.
Raspberry cranachan dessert
After a little interlude, where we enjoyed some of a nice bottle of Merlot we had chosen to accompany the meal, we moved on to dessert.
This was the easiest of all to prepare and, dare I say it, the tastiest course.
We took the raspberry cranachan out of the fridge, placed some honeycomb on it and devoured it – only to be extremely disappointed!
Disappointed that is that Achray hadn’t accidentally given us an extra cranachan, such was the creamy tasty delight we had enjoyed.
The raspberries were just tart enough to work perfectly with the sweet cream in the cranachan, while the honeycomb was the icing on the cake. It was an absolute joy in your mouth and my tastebuds were singing. Either that or crying out for more.
I am not really a sweet tooth, and rarely eat dessert, but treats such as this would certainly convert me.
I love cooking, and I love making things from scratch, but there are times when you just want to take it a little easier – The Haste Ye Back Finish at Home box does just that.
To be entirely honest, the only way you can go wrong is by forgetting things that I did. Other than that it is a simple process to enjoying a delicious three-course dinner.
When we ate this at the weekend, we were in the house, but we could have been in a fine dining restaurant such was the quality of the food – and it’s always fun trying to be “chefy” when you plate it up.
Reasonably priced and real quality food, Haste Ye Back is a dine at home offering that is sure to be here to stay long after lockdown is over.
Fancy trying it out?
The Finish at Home box is £24.99 per person per box, and the subscription can be stopped at any time.
Create at Home costs £69.99 and can be ordered as a single box, paused or added to if you have guests coming.
The gourmet kids’ boxes are only £5 each.
Achray House is also preparing to open for dinner from April 26 and to residents from May 2.