Beef Stew with Dumplings

January 28, 2014

Beef-Stew-FullWinter is very much upon us, with the wind and the rain creating a chill across Leicester. What better dish to tuck into on a cold winter’s evening that this delicious beef stew.

And, the great thing about this recipe is that every ingredient is available from Leicester’s Indoor and Outdoor Market!



Ingredients (serves 4)

For the beef stew
2 tablespoon of olive oil

25g/1oz of butter

750g/1lb 10oz of beef stewing steak, chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 tablespoon of plain flour

2 garlic cloves, crushed

175g/6oz baby onions, peeled

150g/5oz of celery, cut into large chunks

150g/5oz of carrots, cut into large chunks

2 leeks, roughly chopped

200g/7oz swede, cut into large chunks

150ml/5fl oz of red wine

500ml/18fl oz of beef stock

2 fresh bay leaves

3 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves

3 tablespoons chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

Worcestershire sauce, to taste

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, or to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dumplings
125g/4½oz of plain flour, plus extra for dusting

1 teaspoon of baking powder

A pinch of salt

60g/2½oz suet

Water, to make a dough

To serve
Mashed potato

1 tablespoon of chopped flatleaf parsley

Preparation method
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

For the beef stew, heat the oil and butter in an ovenproof casserole 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 wine, stock and herbs, then add the Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar, to taste. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Cover with a lid, transfer to the oven and cook for about two hours, or until the meat is tender.

For 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 two hours, remove the lid from the stew and place the balls on top of the stew. Cover, return to the oven and cook for a further 20 minutes, or until the dumplings have swollen and are tender (if you prefer your dumplings with a golden top, leave the lid off when returning to the oven).

To serve, place a spoonful of mashed potato onto each of four serving plates and top with the stew and dumplings. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Recipe by James Martin –