The Hairy Bikers Go North episode 6 – Northumberland: The Hairy Bikers continue their northern odyssey in the county of Northumberland. It’s an area that Si knows well, having holidayed there many times throughout his childhood, and he is keen to introduce Dave to some of the producers and chefs he has got to know over the years.
Starting in the seaside town of Amble, where they eat fresh seafood from the North Sea, they head to a potato farm at the foot of the Cheviot Hills that grows nine different varieties of potato. The next day, after staying at Dave’s surprising choice of accommodation, they head to Lindisfarne to take a look at the oyster beds in the island’s tidal estuaries.
Next, they visit a local farmer known as the Lamb Man on a small, family-run farm – where they cook a roast rack of lamb with honey-roasted vegetables. And on their final day, they sample the ultimate fish and chips in Bamburgh.
The Hairy Bikers Go North episode 6 – Northumberland
David Myers and Si King collectively known as the Hairy Bikers, are British television chefs. They have presented a range of television shows that combine cooking with the travelogue format, mostly for the BBC but also for the now-defunct Good Food channel. They have also produced a range of cookery books published to accompany their various television series.
Myers and King have known each other since the 1990s, with both having backgrounds in television production. Their first appearance on UK television was as presenters of The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook, which began on the BBC in 2004 and continued for four series.
The followed this with The Hairy Bikers’ Food Tour of Britain, The Hairy Bikers’ Mums Know Best, Hairy Bikers’ Meals on Wheels, Hairy Bikers’ Best of British, The Hairy Bikers’ Bakeation, Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight, The Hairy Bikers’ Asian Adventure, The Hairy Bikers’ Northern Exposure and The Hairy Bikers’ Pubs That Built Britain for BBC Two, and The Hairy Bikers’ Mississippi Adventure for Good Food and Hairy Bikers: Route 66
Red wine gravy
Whatever you’re roasting – a joint of meat or a chicken, duck, game bird or turkey – use the juices left in the roasting tin to make an aromatic rich red wine gravy.
- Heat the butter in a small saucepan, add the shallots and fry over a medium heat until golden brown.
- Add the thyme and red wine, bring to the boil and cook until the wine has reduced by half. Leave to infuse with the shallots and herbs until you are ready to make the gravy, then strain.
- Strain off any liquid from the meat roasting tin and reserve it. Sprinkle the flour into the tin and stir, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the tin. Gradually pour in the strained wine mixture, stirring until smooth, then gradually add the juices from the roast, a little more wine if needed, and the stock, stirring constantly until all the meaty bits stuck to the roasting tin have been incorporated.
- Transfer the gravy to a saucepan, whisk in the redcurrant or apple jelly, then taste for seasoning. Leave to simmer gently until you are ready to serve.
Tattie scones – The Hairy Bikers Go North episode 6
Slathered with butter, these tattie (potato) scones are so good. They’re great with a bit of Marmite too, or you can go down the sweet route and dish them up with jam or honey. We like to steam the potatoes in this way to get them as dry as possible, then mix them into the flour while still hot. This gives you a lighter, more tender scone.
- Steam the potatoes in a steamer basket over a pan of boiling water for about 20 minutes or until completely tender. While the potatoes are still hot, peel off the skins – wear rubber gloves or spear each piece of potato with a fork and peel the skin off with a sharp knife – they should slide off easily.
- Put 150g/5½oz of the flour and the baking powder into a bowl, with plenty of salt and pepper. If you have a potato ricer, mash the still-hot potatoes straight into the flour. Alternatively, mash the potatoes until smooth and add to the flour. Add the egg and butter – the butter should melt into the potato. Mix until you have a soft dough. If it seems too soft and doesn’t hold together, add a little more flour.
- Knead the mixture briefly until smooth, then turn out onto a well-floured surface. Cut the dough into six equal pieces, then roll out to form rounds of about 12–15cm/4½–6in in diameter and 5mm/¼in thick.
- Heat a little butter in a frying pan over a medium heat – not too hot or the butter will burn and the potato scones will brown too quickly. Fry one round at a time, flipping it over when the underside is brown. It should take 2–3 minutes on each side. When all the rounds are cooked, cut each round into four pieces.
- Eat hot from the pan or reheat by toasting. Serve with butter.
Rack of lamb with a herb crust
The rack is one of the most expensive cuts of lamb, but the meat is so tender and delicious it’s worth splashing out once in a while. This looks really impressive, and it’s not difficult to cook. Racks are usually sold French-trimmed, which means that the fat is neatly trimmed off the bones, making the dish look pleasingly cheffy. The meat is best served pink under its crunchy, herby crust.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Heat a large, heavy-based frying pan and brown the meat, fat-side down, for 5 minutes. Brown the remaining sides, then transfer the racks to a roasting tin, facing each other, with the bones interlocking.
- Mix the breadcrumbs with the herbs and garlic, and stir in a pinch of salt and some black pepper. Brush the fat side of each rack with the mustard and cover with the breadcrumb mixture, pressing it carefully so it sticks.
- Roast the lamb for 25–30 minutes for medium–rare meat. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 8–10 minutes. Carve each rack into individual cutlets and serve with a red wine gravy.
Three root mash – The Hairy Bikers Go North episode 6
A delicious mixed root veg mash to serve with comforting autumn and winter favourites – roasts, pies, stews or sausages.
- Put the vegetables in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 25–30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.
- Drain the veg in a colander and then tip them back into the pan. Add the butter, grated nutmeg and lots of salt and pepper to taste, then mash well. For an extra smooth mash, whizz with a stick blender.