Sunderland A.F.C.

Sunderland A.F.C. ~ Stadium of light bite

Introduction: The Stadium of Light is an all-seater football stadium with space for 49,000 spectators. According to Sir Bob Murray the name “was chosen for 2 main reasons; namely as an ever-lasting tribute to the region’s mine-workers and proud industrial heritage and in the expectation that the stadium would be a guiding light in the future. The name is very much a symbolic link to the thousands of miners and Sunderland supporters that emerged from the darkness and into the light every day when they returned to the surface after working in the mine.”

A Davy lamp monument stands at the entrance to reflect the coal mining industry that brought prosperity to the town.

The origins of this dish start in Front Road, Ford Estate, Sunderland by families of Irish immigrants. The Wearside Panaculty uses tinned corned beef, onion, sliced potatoes and gravy. Here it is baked in the oven in a casserole dish.

Preparation time: 20mins

Cooking time: 1.5 hours then an hour and a bit

Home kit: large shallow casserole dish, measuring jug

Away kit: 4 bowls, knives and forks

Serves: 4


  • 1½ lbs. potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 large onion, thin slices
  • 1 can of corned beef, sliced
  • 10 oz. frozen mixed vegetables
  • 4 rashers of bacon, remove the rind and cut in half
  • 1 pint of thick brown gravy, preferably left over from Sunday lunch.

Method: Preheat the oven to 150oC

First half

Sprinkle some of the vegetables into the bottom of your casserole, then a layer of the onion slices, a layer of potatoes covering the entire base of the casserole. Break up 2-3 slices of the corned beef and spread over the potatoes. Add more mixed vegetables, then another layer of onions and another layer of potatoes. Now the rashers of bacon go on then another layer of corned beef, mixed vegetables, onions and finish with a potato layer.

So the layers are;

    1. Vegetables
    2. Onion
    3. Potatoes
    4. Corned beef
    5. Vegetables
    6. Onion
    7. Potatoes
    8. Bacon and corned beef
    9. Vegetables
    10. Onion
    11. Potatoes

Once you have finished all the layers, carefully pour on the cold gravy, this should fill the casserole to about 3/4 full. Pour in some water if it does not. Cover and bake in the oven for 1.5 hours/1 kickball match.

Go to the game.

Second half

Upon return from the match turn up the temperature up to 180oC. Bake for a further 45 minutes while you have another pint or two. Remove the casserole lid and return to the oven to crisp up the top layer (usually another 15-20 minutes). Be careful to check the dish regularly at this point as the gravy may dry out. Sprinkle a little water on if necessary.

Full time results

Stick in the serving bowls and serve with crusty bread.

Sunderland A.F.C. ~ Ian Porterfield steak

Introduction: John “Ian” Porterfield (11 February 1946 – 11 September 2007) was a Scottish professional footballer and football coach who worked at both club and international level for almost 30 years.  He joined Sunderland in 1967 and stayed for 10 years, appearing 229 times and scoring 17 goals.

Mr. Porterfield scored the only goal of the 1973 FA Cup Final as Bob Stokoe’s Sunderland overcame the odds to beat Don Revie’s all conquering Leeds United.


(Clearly a thriller as I think I see Michael Jackson in goal…)

A Porterhouse steak is a T-bone steak and it should be at least an inch and a half thick before cooking and should be grilled on a barbecue at a furious heat.

Preparation time: 1 hour (surprised?)

Cooking time: 4 mins with 5 mins resting

Home kit: barbecue or cast iron griddle if it’s raining, fire alarm

Away kit: 2 plates, knives and forks

Serves: 2


  • 2 porterhouse/T-bone steaks
  • Generous pinch of sea salt
  • Lots of freshly ground black pepper

Method: Preheat the oven to 70oC for resting

First half

Take the steaks out of the fridge at least one hour before cooking. Put them on kitchen roll to keep the surface dry, this helps sear the outside of the meat when cooking.

Second half

Light the barbecue or put the griddle on a HIGH heat and wait until REALY, REALLY hot. Season with the salt and pepper and bung on the steaks. Leave for 1 minute. Use a timer and don’t jiggle the meat, the idea here is to create a tasty, dark crust which will only form if you leave well alone. After a minute flip. After another minute flip and turn, you are trying to create a goal net appearance on the surface of your steak. One more minute and flip again.

Place in the oven to rest for at least five minutes. If it’s a big steak you can leave it for up to 10 minutes.

N.B. If you are cooking indoors and have not set off the fire alarms then you’re doing it wrong.

Full time results

Serve with roast tomatoes, chips and lettuce. Don’t eat the lettuce. Umami!

Sunderland A.F.C. ~ Black Cat Pudding

Introduction: The link between Sunderland AFC and the black cat stems originally from a gun battery on the River Wear in 1805 which was called the ‘Black Cat’ battery after the men manning the station heard awful howling from a wailing black cat.

A hundred years later in 1905, a black cat was pictured sitting on a football next to Chairman F.W. Taylor and three years later a black cat featured on a team photograph.


The first official badge

This is a vintage recipe for a Sunderland pudding from the 18th Century when it was also known as a flour pudding.

Preparation time: 40mins

Cooking time: 20-30 mins

Home kit: large mixing bowl, some small cups

Away kit: some saucers

Serves: some


  • 225g sugar
  • 225g butter
  • 1 pint of milk
  • 300g of sifted flour
  • 3 eggs and 2 egg yolks
  • A little lemon zest

Method: Preheat the oven to 100oC

First half

Heat the milk until hot but not boiling and stir in the butter until it melts. Let it cool for about ½ an hour before adding the other ingredients.

Stir in the sugar, flour and eggs and lemon zest. Whisk the mixture until light and fluffy.

Second half

Butter the cups and fill them rather more than half full; bake for about twenty minutes to half an hour.

Full time results

Serve with fruit, cream, custard or all three poured into the cups you cooked them in. Remember to put them on the saucers.