I order meat regularly online. I also support my neighbourhood butchers. However, the shop closest to me is limited in its range of meats and cuts, so while I do drop in regularly to support the local independents, I tend to use online butchers to buy more adventurous options, and it's also handy for stocking up when times are hectic. So when I was offered a review of meatporter.com, an online butcher offering artisan, British farm-assured meats and poultry, I jumped on it.
When the box arrived I noticed how compact it was - no unnecessary over-sized packing or gel packs to dispose of - and the meat was cold, not cool, but properly cold. It contained two well-marbled, ribeye steaks; 1/2lb of unsmoked, rindless bacon; 9 luxury pork sausages, 3 large chicken breasts, and 2 1/4lb steak burgers. I can say that the quality of all of it was excellent, and I had no problem believing that their producers supply the top London restaurants. This is the same meat but much more affordable (though unfortunately no Michelin-starred chef turns up to cook it for you). Most notably, the burgers and steaks were especially juicy and flavourful, and the chicken got a good testing. I used it in a stirfry, a dish where I tend to overcook the chicken slightly because I have a habit of cutting up my veg while the chicken is cooking instead of doing all the prep before. (I always think I'll be faster this time.) But when it came time to eat I was surprised at how tender it was. So bonus points on the chicken.
(Why don't I have any pictures of the meat? Because for some reason I didn't think of it when I opened up the paper, and when I cook I make a mess and go slightly mental trying to time everything and so I tend not to go near my camera, but now I feel a bit silly for not getting a shot. Trust me, it looks good.)
Another big plus for going with Meat Porter is that they'll deliver nationwide next day (make sure to order by 3pm) for free on weekdays, so you don't have to plan far in advance like you do with other sites that can take up to two weeks to deliver. (I've had that happen many times with others, and you don't know the earliest delivery date until you go to check out which is a real pain. And it's not free on weekdays either!)
As for the actual ordering, the site is so clean and easy to navigate and you're not bombarded with pictures of meat coming at you from everywhere. In other words, it reflects the high end quality of the product. You have three options. You can build your own box using their list of meats and poultry (nice and streamlined, you don't have to jump around pages and risk missing something), choose one of three set boxes including Meat for a Month, or take one of the 'surprise me' options and see what goodies turn up (which also saves you about 10% off the cost of ordering individually).
Meat Porter also offers venison, pork loin steaks and tenderloin, Barbary and Gressingham duck, lamb, and Gressingham guinea fowl. There's a lot of choice to keep your menu varied and interesting, yet it's a nicely focussed selection that makes shopping quick and easy.
Will I order from Meat Porter? Yes I will, definitely. I'm looking at the site right now. I'm in the mood for shredded duck with Asian spices.