Beef Stew with Dumplings is a great British dish and just perfect for winter. The secret to a good stew has to be long, slow cooking. The meat should be so tender it falls apart. This recipe includes red wine which gives a real depth of flavour. If you don't want to use wine, replace the quantity with additional stock or try cooking wine which has a much lower alcohol content than ordinary wine.
Course: Main Course
Season: Autumn, Winter
2tbspolive oilorganic, fairtrade
450gstewing steakorganic, cut into bite-sized pieces
14gplain flourorganic 7g = 1 tbsp
1onionsorganic, peeled and chopped
2parsnipsorganic, peeled and sliced
4carrotsorganic, peeled and sliced
200gswedeorganic, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
250mlred wineorganic, fairtrade, (optional)
1kgpotatoesorganic, for mashing
125gself raising flourorganic
Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/300°F/gas mark 2
Add the oil to the pan or oven proof casserole dish, coat the meat in the flour and fry oven a medium heat until lightly browned. Remove from the pan and set to one side.
Fry the onions over a medium heat for 3 - 4 minutes until browned.
Add the rest of the vegetables to the pan and fry for 3 - 4 minutes.
Stir the tomato puree into the stock then add to the pan together with the red wine, bay leaves, thyme and worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Transfer everything to an oven proof casserole dish and add the meat. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 2 ½ - 3 hours until the meat is tender.
40 minutes before eating
Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks about 2cm², place in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for 8 - 10 minutes until cooked. Remove from the heat, drain and mash with a knob of butter and a little milk.
Prepare the dumplings
Mix the flour, salt and suet together. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water or enough until you have a pliable dough. Divide the dough into 8 small balls (or more). Place on top of the simmering stew, cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves and serve the stew with the mash.
You can keep stew warm at 110°C/225°F/gas ¼ until you are ready to eat.Leftover stew can be frozen for 2 - 3 months.Mashed potato can also be frozen, just roll into balls about the size of your hand and place in the freezer. You can quickly de-frost the mash in a microwave and loosen it with a little butter and milk. A useful quick standby for when you are in a hurry![nutrition-label]