Beef Stew & Dumplings

24/07/2012 15:13

What could be more comforting than a big bowl of warming stew and lovely plump dumplings on a cold wintery day.
~ Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
25g butter
750g beef stewing steak, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp plain flour
2 garlic cloves, crushed
175g baby onions, peeled
150g celery, cut into large chunks
150g carrots, cut into large chunks
2 leeks, roughly chopped
200g swede, cut into large chunks
600ml beef stock (from a stock cube)
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Salt & Black pepper


125g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
60g suet
Water, to make a dough

Preheat the oven to 180c/350F/Gas 4.
Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan and fry the beef until browned on all sides. Sprinkle over the flour and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and all the vegetables and fry for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the beef stock and the herbs and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Transfer to a large Casserole dish, cover with the lid and pop into the oven to cook for a good couple of hours or until the meat is tender.

To make the Dumplings, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
Add the suet and enough water to form a thick dough. With floured hands, roll spoonfuls of the dough into small balls.

After a couple of hours, remove the lid from the stew and place the dumplings on top of the stew. Cover and return to the oven to cook for a further 20 minutes, or until the dumplings are lovely and plump.