New years eve menu ideas northeast
Fill your table and party dishes with local foods from Northumberland and the Borders at Christmas time. We have award-winning, high-quality and delicious options to add to your menu – all from regional food producers. Here are some of our favourites.
Northumberland meat and game
Sausages from Greenbrae, a family-owned business at Newton Farm at Harbottle come from traditionally reared beef, lamb and rare-breed pork.
The meat can be bought at fairs and markets around the region and directly from the farm. Two of Greenbrae’s most popular ofefrings are their Christmas sausages with cranberries, chestnuts and orange or apricots, chestnuts and chives.
Rothbury Family Butchers has won numerous national accolades for its sausages. In October it won Sausage of the Year for its newest creation – a pork, pear and black pudding creation.
This sausage will be a tasty start to any day over the holiday season, accompanied by free range eggs from Kearsley Farm, near Matfen.
Northumberland and the Borders produce lamb fed on heather, giving the meat a low-fat content and a light sweet flavour. Ingram Valley Lamb is one such produce and it has received a national Quality Food award.
You can find a good listing of Northumberland meat and game produces in our recent feature Have Yourself a True Taste of the North this Yuletide.
In the Scottish Borders you can find beef, lamb and pork at Whitmuir Farm, Duns, and Aberdeen Angus beef at Hardiesmill Farm, Kelso. Also near Kelso is Playfair Farms, which produces naturally reared lamb, beef and pork at its farm in the Cheviot Hills.
At Yetholm in the Scottish Borders you can find award-winning pâtés made by Crookedshaws Farmhouse. They are available from farm shops in the Borders and can be bought in ceramic gift packs or porcelain containers.
Northumberland fish and seafood
The coastal regions in the north of England and southern Scotland provide an amazing range of fresh and delicious fish and seafood.
In this part of the world you will find line-caught mackerel, pollock and traditional Northumberland white fish. There is also fresh creel-caught lobsters, crabs and langoustines (also known as scampi or Dublin Bay prawns).
The salmon and sea trout are traditionally caught using centuries-old methods of coble fishing and the taste is second-to-none. On the shores of Holy Island oysters are harvested and two smoke houses, Swallows of Seahouses and Robsons of Craster, provide fresh kippers and smoked herrings, as well as smoked sea trout and salmon.
Potatoes that are famous across the UK are grown at Tiptoe Farm near Cornhill on Tweed, with several varieties ready at different times throughout the year.
Seasonal vegetables include pumpkin, beetroot, turnip, cabbage, red cabbage, cauliflower, and celeriac.
Northumberland puddings and sweet things
As reported here at www.thisisnorthumberland.com a few days ago, the UK’s best Christmas pudding can be found in Northumberland, near Alnwick.
It is the Alnwick Rum Christmas Pudding. The company responsible for this remarkable creation, Proof of the Pudding, also makes some other irresistible cakes and desserts, including sticky toffee, sticky ginger pudding and steamed golden syrup puddings.
The Heatherslaw Bakery near Cornhill on Tweed makes traditional fine hand-baked biscuits, cakes and bread. The products are made to the Heatherslaw recipes – some of which are decades old. One of its most popular creations is the ginger parkin, a rich, crunchy ginger biscuit that’s not too hard and not too sweet. In other words – perfect!
The region has many farm shops which produce their own cakes and biscuits, or source them from local suppliers. Some of the best include Moorhouse at Stannington, www.moorhousefarmshop.co.uk, the Blagdon Farm Shop at the Milkhope Centre just off the A1, www.theblagdonfarmshop.co.uk, the National Trust’s Wallington Morpeth Farm Shop, Wallington; Sunnyhills of Belford, www.sunnyhillsofbelford.co.uk; and the Oxford Farm Shop, near Berwick.
Even though it is winter, let’s not forget some of the region’s fabulous ice creams – loved by children (of any age) at any time of the year.
Some of the best producers in the UK include Doddington’s Dairy near Wooler in north Northumberland, award winners Spurreli of Amble, Wheelbirks, near Corbridge, the Morwick Dairy near Warkworth, and Giacoppazzis in Eyemouth.
The rich sweet grass of Northumberland and the Borders means there are plenty of dairy farms, with some of the best producing lovely cheeses. For more than 10 years cheese has been made at Doddington Farm near Wooler, and the farm’s cheese has received international recognition and awards.
At the opposite end of the county the Northumberland Cheese Company at Blagdon makes 16 artisan cheeses, including ewe, goat, cow and Jersey cheeses.
Just like Northumberland, Scotland’s climate is well-suited to the making of cheese and some of the better know cheeses come from Standhill Farm near Hawick and Stitchill Jerseys, Kelso. The latter produces hard and soft cheeses that can be bought at local farm shops and markets and is the only producer of clotted cream in Scotland.
A good cheese needs an equally good biscuit and in the south of Northumberland is Gilchesters Organic Farm, a producer of fine flour used in its very special spelt biscuits. They produce original, thyme and honey and mustard.