We Hunted, We Gathered, We Went Live

Hopefully you tuned into my first live video on Friday night, if not head over the The Hunter Gatherer’s page to watch it again. This little project started by me watching The Hunter Gatherer’s videos and really getting on board with his way of thinking, particularly where our meat comes from and the sustainability aspect. So after having a few conversations with Alex (The Hunter Gatherer) about how best to get this message out there, we basically reinvented ready, steady cook! The rules were as follows:

1. The meal must be made from ingredients or produce from the local area, i.e butchers or local farm shops.

2. It must feed a family of four.

3. It must cost no more than £10.

Items such as spices or butter weren’t included in the cost as most people will have these in the cupboard already.

We decided to cook burgers as the main part of the meal with some sweet potatoes and charred vegetables. So I went into town on market day and managed to get some sweet peppers, four sweet potatoes and an onion for £3.49. Then onto the butchers for the mince, which was £2.99 for 450g - this actually surprised me as it is on par with the supermarket cost, and even some places from researching prices were up around the £6 mark for the same amount. The rolls also came from a local bakery and were £1 for four.

Here is the direct comparison to the nearest product that the supermarket sold

A difference of 66p! Before starting the experiment I thought the difference would be a bit more than than 66p. It’s a fair assumption that the quality of the products are better from a butchers or local shops, but I’d guess most people would think they were vastly more expensive too, myself included. Maybe you’d think to only use them for a “special” occasion or a treat, and that it is unaffordable or unrealistic to feed the family on a regular basis. I hope this blog helps to disprove this trail of thought.

Now onto the cook itself, for the burgers I finely diced a quarter of the red onion and mixed this with some paprika and red chilli flakes before adding the mince and mixing it thoroughly. Then I split the mixture up into four equal balls ready to make the smash burgers later on. I purposely chose some sweet potatoes that were on the smaller side as in the past I’ve found my timings were a bit out for jacket potatoes on the BBQ. For the veg I sliced the peppers in half and deseeded. I got the Grden Grill fired up about 18:15 to give the sweet potatoes long enough, turning every 20 minutes or so and basting with melted butter and salt. After a couple of beers to settle the nerves I was as ready as I was going to be to go live. I’m really by no means a public speaker - in fact I didn’t even do a speech at my own wedding! But once we went live I didn’t really have time to be nervous as it was pretty full on with Alex asking questions and chatting whilst I got on with the cook.

I’ve started to clean my plancha with half an onion and I’ve found this really helps the cook if I do it before as well. So once the plancha was up to temperature I gave it a once over with the onion before adding a very small amount of oil. Then I placed the burger balls on the grill for a couple of minutes before smashing them down. Once flipped I added the sweet peppers and gave them a baste with the butter too. When the burgers were nearly there I added the cheese (definitely not cheating Alex!) and served up once it had melted.

I have to say I really enjoyed my first live. Alex and I plan on doing this again soon, obviously with a different meal, and I’m really intrigued to see if it is the same outcome with the cost next time.

So we have proved that you can feed a family of four (even though this meal in particular was doubled up and eaten by two!) for under £10, with the ingredients from local shops. I’d encourage you to head out to your high street or local farmers market and help these guys out. They may be slightly more expensive, and the more of these challenges we do will give us a better idea of by how much, but the quality will be far greater.

So thank you Alex, I had a great time and cant wait for the next one!

Stu - Bbqfestu