I love it when it gets all crisp and cold outside and the sun shines, it makes me want to go on a long walk and come home with ridiculously cold cheeks to something gorgeous smelling in my oven. Well on Sunday we did just this, though it was coming in from the garden, cold after pimping the hutch, to a lovely casserole bubbling away in the oven.
I settled on a beef stew as we’d bought some great stewing steak from the butchers a couple of weeks back, topped off with some lovely carrots from my Riverford box and the leftovers of a can of lager (from my Tempura batter on Friday night) and red wine (which I surprisingly hadn’t necked…). Mr B made some great dumplings to finish off and then it was bon appetit! The original recipe is from Jamie Oliver I think with a few tweaks to suit what I had/could be bothered to do!
Beef Stew and Dumplings
600g beef steak, cubed
2 large carrots, cut into bite sized chunks
1 large onion, finely sliced
1 beef stock cube
2tbsp tomato puree
125ml red wine
125ml hot water
2 tbsp plain flour
salt and pepper
2 sprigs rosemary
100g self raising flour
50g shredded suet
cold water to mix
1. Heat the oven to 160ºC / Gas Mark 3.
2. Heat some vegetable oil in a heavy based saucepan (needs to be oven proof and have a lid) and add the onion. Fry for 3-4 minutes till softened.
3. Season the plain flour and toss the beef to coat, add to the pan along with the carrots and stir to combine, cook for 1 minute, stirring.
4. Crumble in the stock cube and add the red wine, hot water, lager and tomato puree. Stir to combine and bring to the boil.
5. Once at a boil put the rosemary sprigs in the pan and put the lid on, put in the oven and cook for 3-4 hours stirring every hour or so.
6. Make the dumplings by combining the self raising flour and suet in a bowl, add cold water until it combines into a dough, work until smooth and form into small balls – this usually makes 6-8.
7. When the beef is just starting to fall apart check the amount of liquid, if it’s too dry top up with a little hot water as the dumplings do absorb quite a lot of liquid.
8. Take the lid of the pan and add the dumplings. Return to the oven with the lid off.
9. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the dumplings are golden.
10. Serve in soup bowls with some crusty bread or mash – delicious!