One of the great things about running a food blog is that you get to work with great brands from time to time and that was the case this week when we were asked to sample the Marks and Spencer Mother’s Day family dinner. Much like the meal deals you’ll see in most supermarkets each week, this Mother’s Day meal deal provides you with a main course, dessert and some sides. There isn’t a starter but you do get a bottle of wine or soft drink to help make the occasion a real celebration.
What’s in the M&S Mother’s Day meal deal range?
There is certainly lots of choice for the meal deal and when I called into our local M&S in Forestside (that’s about 40mins from our home so actually not very local), the first thing you are hit by is a great choice of flowers, chocolates, sweets and biscuits for Mothering Sunday. Once you get past this display you really hit the jackpot with the £20 meal deal – one main, two sides and a bottle of wine.
The choice for the main includes meats like whole chicken, leg of lamb, pork loin and roast beef joint and also includes fish and vegetarian options. There is a huge selection of sides including stuffing, vegetables of different types and then various styles of potatoes. Dessert includes things like sticky toffee pudding, cheesecake and profiteroles. With so much choice it was really hard to pick what to go with but I think we chose well in the end as you’ll soon see.
Main course – leg of lamb with mash and carrot & turnip
We decided to go with a leg of lamb because it really is hard to beat a good lamb dinner. We cooked the lamb in a roasting bag with garlic and rosemary poked into the meat. We cooked the lamb for approximately an hour and half at 170C (turned up to around 190C for the last 20 minutes). The mash and carrot & turnip mix are a microwave job and take only 6 minutes but as there were 4 of us dining we thought we needed something extra so we cooked some roast potatoes, power boiling them first before roasting them in oil and flavouring with some garlic and rosemary. We also made a gravy using some of the lamb juice and some redcurrant jelly. It really does take a sauce to elevate this to a proper Sunday roast in our opinion.
So with the lamb ready and the roast potatoes almost there, it was time to put the mash, carrots & turnip into the microwave. A quick six minutes and we were ready to dish up this Mother’s Day roast. The lamb was New Zealand lamb and was so good while the trimmings of mash potato, carrots & turnip, roast spuds, gravy and peas really made this a knockout dish. We would strongly recommend adding rosemary at the very least to your lamb as it really lifts the flavour of the meat and helps create a wonderful roast dinner. Needless to say there were 4 clean plates at the end of the meal.
Dessert – coconut macaroon raspberry tart
With so much choice for dessert we decided to go for something that just looked so inviting on the packaging. We are fond of our desserts here at Pikalily, and this coconut macaroon raspberry tart is certainly something we’ll be trying to make in the future. It was a sponge like cake with a coconut flavour running through it and the sweet taste of raspberry just finished it off. Weirdly, it actually took us back to primary school and memories of sponge cake with raspberry jam and custard – a simply yet wonderfully tasty dessert. We added some cream custard with ours just to cut through the raspberry and all in all it was another knockout.
Both main course and dessert were delicious and if you call into Marksie’s this weekend looking a Mother’s Day meal, you won’t be disappointed. The meal deal is only £20 and certainly represents great value for money. Do let us know if you tried the M&S Mother’s Day meal by commenting below or letting us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter. As for us, well we are planning some Afternoon Tea this Mother’s Day as we venture to Lisbane (outside Belfast) to visit the popular Old Post Office. We’ll be sure to share our thoughts and photos with you.