'Northumberland Kitchen' - Food and Drink in Northumberland

July 2021

'Northumberland Kitchen' - Food and Drink in Northumberland

We had a fab time when we let our chefs, David Greenwood-Haigh and Shaun Dowd cook up a storm in our Northumberland Kitchen at Hemmel House! You can watch what they got up to here

And now here is everything you need to recreate those dishes:-

Roast rack of “Turnbulls” lamb with rosemary, served with “Lindisfarne” mead glazed shallots

‘Turnbull’s’ in Alnwick supply local lamb French trimmed – it is simple and impressive, perfect for a dinner party.  You can buy both the lamb and Lindisfarne mead at their Northumberland food store on the Willowburn Retail Park in Alnwick.

Preparation Time: 50 mins - 1 hr (Plus 4 hrs overnight marinating time)

Cook: 6 mins

Serves: 4


2 racks of lamb (1 pair of best ends), French trimmed

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

a big stalk of rosemary, needles stripped off and roughly chopped

salt and pepper

4 tbsp light olive oil


Stand the racks of lamb in a china or glass baking dish, scatter the garlic and rosemary over the top, and drizzle with the olive oil. Leave to marinate for at least 4 hours (or overnight if you have the time), turn occasionally.

Preheat the oven to fan 200C/ conventional 220C/gas 7. Season the lamb. Heat a large, heavy frying pan over a moderately high heat and brown two of the racks well on the meaty sides for about 1-2 minutes, then turn and brown the other sides for a further 1 minute. Finally, brown the ends briefly so that all the exposed meat is seared. Remove and repeat with the remaining two racks.

Put racks in a large roasting tin, standing them in pairs with their bones interlinked. Roast for about 8 minutes for very pink meat, 17-20 minutes for medium and 25 minutes for well-done. To test the lamb, stick a skewer or the point of a knife into the centre of the meat, leave it for 30 seconds and then test it against the inside of your wrist, it should feel hot. If it still feels cold, then keep cooking the lamb as it will still be raw in the centre. Test again after 5 mins. Transfer the lamb to a warmed plate, cover loosely with foil, and allow to rest in a warm place for about 5 minutes before carving (if you wait longer than this, you may want to return the lamb to the oven for a minute or so before serving, to bring back up to temperature). Carve into cutlets and serve on warmed plates.


Lindisfarne Mead Glazed Shallots

Mead is simply wine made from honey. Magical, right? Though not all meads are created equal. I’ve had some pretty lacklustre mead, but this Lindisfarne Mead does not lack in the lustre department!  Also available at ‘Turnbull’s’ Northumberland Food Store or from Alnwick Brewery shop in the Square in Alnwick.

yield: 4 prep time: 10 MINUTES cook time: 20 MINUTES total time: 30 MINUTES


1.5 lbs Shallots, peeled

3 tbsp Butter, Salted

3/4 to 1 cup. Lindisfarne Mead

1 tbsp Pure Honey

1 cup Vegetable Stock (or water)


Layer the shallots in a large saute pan, making sure they are in a single layer.

Add the mead, honey, butter, and stock and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer until the shallots begin to soften about 10 minutes.

Gently move the shallots around the pan as they begin to caramelize.

Add 1/4 c. liquid (broth or water) to the pan to deglaze and stir if needed. The liquid should be thick.

Serve hot as a side dish or atop a bed of fresh greens and aged cheese.

Singing hinnies

Singing hinnies are similar to Welsh cakes but without the extra sugar, as the sweetness comes from dried fruit.’ Hinny’  is a Northumberland  term of endearment for ‘honey’, mostly used for women and children, and the ‘singing’ part of  the name comes from the sound these make on the griddle plate as they cook. Traditionally they are made with lard and served at breakfast.

Preparation Time: 10 mins

Cook: 6 mins

Total: 16 minutes

Serves: 18 Hinnies


300g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

zest of ½ lemon

½ tsp salt

75g chilled white vegetable fat, diced

75g cold butter, diced, plus extra to cook

100g currants or other dried fruit

2-3 tbsp milk, to mix


Combine the flour, baking powder, lemon zest and salt in a mixing bowl. Rub in the fats until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs, then stir in the dried fruit. Add just enough milk to mix to a firm, but not crumbly, dough.

Roll out on a floured surface to about 1cm thick and stamp out 6cm rounds with a cutter.

Grease a flat griddle or a heavy frying pan with a little butter.

Cook the hinnies in batches over a medium to low heat for 2-3 minutes each side until well browned and cooked through. Keep warm under a clean towel while you cook the remainder.

You could add raspberries or chocolate to the mix for an alternative version.

Pan Haggerty

Pan haggerty is a traditional Northumbrian vegetarian side dish containing potatoes, onion and cheese. A great winter warmer which works well as an accompaniment to most meats or served for breakfast with crispy bacon and a fried egg.

Preparation Time: 20 mins

Cook: 1:05 mins

Total: 1:25 mins

Serves: 4



75g butter

500g onions, thinly sliced

1kg floury potatoes, such as king Edwards, cut into 5-6mm slices

225g extra mature cheddar, coarsely grated


In a large frying pan, melt 50g of the butter. Add the sliced onions, season well, then cook gently for about 20 minutes until soft and lightly browned.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes, then return to the boil and cook for 4-5 minutes until just tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Drain well, then set aside.

Heat the remaining butter in a large non-stick, ovenproof frying pan. Arrange a third of the potatoes in the pan and fry gently for about 5 minutes until crisp and golden underneath.

Remove from the heat, then cover with half the cooked onions, a little seasoning and a third of the cheese.

Add a second layer of potatoes and the remaining onions. Season, then scatter over half the remaining cheese. Add a final layer of potatoes, then scatter with the remaining grated cheese.

Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.

Beer Steamed Thai Mussels

This is a simple dish that is easy to prepare for a group of hungry friends and using Alnwick beer to steam the mussels makes a delicious sauce when combined with the curry paste and coconut milk.  You can buy the mussels from ‘Swallow Fish’ near the harbour in Seahouses.

Don’t forget the spoons so everyone can enjoy the sauce!

Preparation Time: 5 mins

Cook: 15 mins

Total: 20 mins

Serves: 4-6


2kg fresh mussels, cleaned, beards removed

1 bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped

200ml coconut milk

500ml Alnwick beer

1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste

4 spring onions, sliced

2 red chillies

2 shallots, sliced


Heat a little Cocoa butter (or oil) in a wok or large saucepan until smoking hot.

Add the curry paste and cook for a few minutes to release all the aromatics and flavour.

Pour the bottle of Alnwick beer into the wok and bring to a boil. Add the mussels, stir and cover with a lid. After a few minutes check the mussels – they should have all opened, discard any that have not.

Add the coconut milk, stir and bring back to the boil.

Take off the heat and toss through the coriander and spring onions.

Garnish with crispy fried shallots and serve with fresh limes and side bowls for the empty shells. 


Bacon Floddies

This is the Northumbrian version of hash browns freshly fried crispy brown mmm!  If you want to pep it up, ‘Turnbull’s’ of Alnwick sell some lovely pancetta.

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 10 mins

Total: 20 mins

Serves: 4-6



250g baking potatoes, weighed after peeling

1 large onion

150g bacon, lardons/pancetta

120g self-rising flour

2 eggs

Oil, for frying

salt and pepper, to taste


Grate the potatoes onto a clean dish cloth, then gather up the edges to make a pouch. Squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible.

Grate or finely chop the onion into a large bowl and add the potatoes, chopped bacon, flour and seasonings. Mix well.

Beat the eggs and stir into the potato mixture. Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Add heaping tablespoons of the potato mixture and flatten them to make thin pancakes. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Lift out, drain on paper towels and serve.

Traditionally they were served on a shovel; that’s up to you!