Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Beef Stew & Herb Dumplings

INGREDIENTS (For Two People)

1 Large Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
4 Medium Carrots
1/2 Small Swede
6 Button Mushrooms
250gm Stewing Beef/Steak
2 Bay Leaves
1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes
8 New Potatoes
4 Celery Sticks
1 Mug Of Peas(Frozen/Fresh)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Glass Of Red Wine(Optional)
2 Tablespoon of Flour
Salt & Pepper
2 Tablespoon Oil(Olive,vegetable,sunflower are all good to use its up to you)
Dumpling Mix: 100g self raising flour, 50g suet mix, pinch of salt 1 tablespoon mixed herbs and water.

Kitchen Equipment you will need: 1 Chopping Board, Sharp Knife, 2 Soup Bowls, 1 Large Saucepan, 1 Mixing Bowl and a ladle.


Put your beef into the mixing bowl and add the flour and season well(don't be shy). Mix throughly so all of the meat is coated. Heat your saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of oil and brown your meat off in the pan. Once the meat has a dark brown colour to the edges of the meat, remove from the pan and leave in a bowl for a bit. Roughly chop all the veg: potatoe, swede, carrotts, onion, mushroom, celery and the garlic(you will want to chop the vegetables into the same size pieces as the beef). Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pan and genlty fry the veg mix to soften slightly. Add the beef back into the pan and add the wine if you have chosen to. If you have added the wine then cook this until the wine has reduced by half. Add the bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce and the chopped tomatoes, now add enough water to cover the beef and the vegetables and then add the same amount of water again. Cover the pan with a suitable lid or you could use some tin foil(carefully cover the pan with tin foil, it will be hot). Leave on your stove top for one and half hours on the lowest heat you have.


Now your stew has been working its magic for an hour or so, its time to check on a few things. Firstly check to see if the beef has started to get tender a little bit, it should still be a little firm and about half an hour away. Secondly check to see how much liquid you have covering the meat, you just need it to just cover, no more. Add some water if needs be, if you think you have too much don't worry it will all get made into a gravy for mopping up later. Now you need to check the seasoning and adjust accordingly. Is the thickness of the gravy ok for you? or do you need to thicken it slightly?

Almost There

You need to make your dumplings. Take one mixing bowland measure out your ingredients, add to the bowl and work the mixture with your fingers. Add some water a little at a time until you have a pliable dough, once you have got this you can make your little dumplings by rolling them in your hand. Keep your hands well floured to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
Now you have your dumplings, place them into your stew and cover the pan cook for around 20mins. Your stew should be simmering but not boiling.


It's time to eat! The dumplings have double in size and smells escaping from you pan should now be making your tastebuds tingle. So grab yourself a big bowl and ladle, serve yourself a large portion of homemade stew and dumplings, you deserve it!

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