I have often posted on Splodz Blogz about how mid week meals need to be quick and easy. I’ve mentioned that I will often resort to jars of sauce or packet mixes to make things quick, although I do love to cook things from scratch and find that very satisfying.
Gousto is a fairly new food delivery service that I tried out earlier in December. They do all the leg work for you – create lovely recipes and provide all the ingredients in a mail order delivery for you to cook them in your own home. I tried a box with two recipes for two.
The process started by having a look at some recipes that they had emailed and choosing two. That was difficult in itself, I could have easily chosen any of them. There were different kinds of meat, fish and a number of vegetarian options. The recipes are given difficulty ratings of easy, medium and hard, which helps in the decision making process (!), and you can see if any specific kitchen equipment is needed too. The vegetables used were those in season. In the end I chose a Wild Boar Ragu with Linguine and a Creamy Leek and Beetroot Risotto.
The deliveries are once a week, and for me that was to be a Wednesday (it is either a Tuesday or a Wednesday depending on where you live, you can put your postcode into the site to check they deliver). I work during the day but Gousto arrange for your food parcel, which is packaged well enough to be left outside, to be placed where ever you ask – so I had mine sat by my back door for when I got home. Opening it up everything was inside wool insulation to keep it fresh and protected, with the fridge items being inside ice packs too that were totally frozen by the time I got the bits and bobs into my fridge; everything was definitely still fresh.
Inside the box my ingredients were all portioned out ready – things like herbs and nuts and rice were in bags with exactly the right amount for your recipe – there’s no weighing or measuring needed when you start preparing your meals, which is a real time saver. The two recipe cards included a nice description of the food they instructed how to cook, and give simple and easy to follow step by step bullet points to make sure you end up with something that looks just like the photograph. Oh and it gives you the calories/fat/protein numbers too so you know.
Let me take the two recipes I chose in turn…
Wild Boar Ragu with Linguine
This Italian dish combines smoky and intense wild boar with earthy garlic, leek and onion flavours, along with chilli for a warming kick. The wild boar salami is supplied by a small Italian supplier who guarantees high standards, something which is a theme for all the ingredients – good quality and high standards.
The meal was really simple to make (I’ve actually never made a ragu before). The instructions were honestly so easy to follow and I understood everything, and we ended up with a absolutely fantastic dinner. The wild boar sausage meet was really good, so tasty, and the whole dish was full of flavour. I went easy on the crushed chilli but added more to LincsGeek’s portion (you add them right at the end so this is easy to do) but I could have happily had more in mine after all. Thankfully, because the recipe card also included all the quantities, I can keep this one and do it again – although next time I will have to measure out all my ingredients myself rather than just relying on Gousto to do it for me!
Creamy Leek and Beetroot Risotto
Well what can I say? It’s pink. So very pink. More pink than I think I’ve seen anything that’s not a desert before. Wow. Oh and grating beetroot is messy!!
To be fair, despite the pinkness and the messy worktop, what I was able to serve up when we had this dish was absolutely gorgeous. It was creamy from the creme fraiche, nutty from the walnuts, oniony from the leeks, and the beetroot gave it a sweet taste too. Oh and I mustn’t forget that you add parmesan and oregano at the end which make this even more full of flavour.
We’re not used to such rich risottos though – I make them regularly but always without butter or cream or cheese, keeping them fresh and healthy, more like one-pot-rice-dishes really. As a result we both found there to be way too much food this time (we found the Wild Boar recipe just right). I would say the quantity I had would have easily served four as a starter, or if you added some grilled fish (which would go with it really nicely) main meals for four.
Splodz Blogz Verdict
I was really impressed with Gousto. The recipes to choose from sounded lovely and whetted my appetite – I really looked forward to my delivery. The ingredients arrived fresh and lasted a good few days in my fridge, and it was all portioned up to make preparing my meals a doddle. The recipe instructions were very easy to follow (although the images were small and a little pixellated, that could definitely be an improvement) and I ended up with two lovely meals that I wouldn’t have tried if it wasn’t for Gousto.
Would I buy Gousto for myself? Yes I would, but not regularly. Every now and again I would like to have a Gousto delivery, and I would happily pay £42 for the couples bag (three meals for two people) as a treat. The site does seem to encourage a weekly delivery but it does say you can start and stop at any time so one offs are possible. £42 might sound like a lot, and you can definitely eat cheaper, but I liken this to eating out but in the comfort of my own home… I certainly couldn’t eat three meals out for that price and the food I tried doing this review was excellent quality and I had a massive feeling of satisfaction cooking these meals myself.