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Beef stew & dumplings

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Thursday, 17 January 2013
Cheat the chill and stay cosy with this winter warmer...

Beef stew and dumplings

Serves 6


Ingredients:
  • 1 kg lean beef stewing steak
  • 1 tablespoon Rapeseed oil
  • 400g onions, cut into wedges
  • 250g carrots, sliced
  • 250g swede, diced
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 600ml beef stock
  • Salt and black pepper

For the dumplings:

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 50g butter
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Method:

1. Remove the fat, membrane and gristle from the stewing steak, then cut the meat into 2.5 cm cubes.

2. Heat the oil in a large, flameproof casserole, add the onions and cook them over a medium heat for 5 minutes, or until they are lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

3. Transfer the onions to a large bowl, then put half the meat in the casserole and cook it for 2-3 minutes until browned, stirring occasionally. Do not worry if there is very little oil in the casserole, but take care not to let the meat burn. Remove the browned meat and add it to the onions, then brown the remaining meat and add that to the onions.

4. Stir the carrots and swede into the meat juices remaining in the casserole and cook them over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Return the meat and onions with their juices to the pan and stir in the flour so that the meat and vegetables are evenly coated.

5. Stir in the herbs, tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 2 hours -2 hours 15 minutes until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally. Do not allow the stew to boil or the meat will become tough.

6. Meanwhile, make the dumplings: sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter. Add the parsley and season to taste. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, pour in 6 tablespoons of cold water and mix with a round-bladed knife to form a soft, slightly sticky dough.

7. When the meat is tender, adjust the seasoning of the stew to taste and increase the heat a little, but do not allow it to boil. Take a rounded dessertspoon of the dumpling mixture and drop it on top of the stew. Add 11 more spoonfuls, spacing them well apart, then cover the pan and continue cooking for 20 minutes, or until the dumplings are well risen and cooked through. Serve two dumplings with each helping.
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