Thursday, 27 October 2016

Beef Stew with Dumplings

We had guests over last week
and I thought 
what would be better than a hearty stew made with
 the abundance of autumnal harvest
to warm the cockles of ones' heart

Beef Stew with Dumplings

for the stew:
1 kg stewing steak, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, cubed
2 large parsnips, cubed
400g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
6 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups tomato juice 
1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 can stewed tomatoes
brown sugar
1 tsp smoked peprika
Worcestershire sauce 
1 bay leaf
a sprig of thyme
2 tbsp plain flour
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 150ºC. 
Coat the beef with flour.
Heat 1tbsp oil in a casserole dish and brown the beef in batches. 
Set aside. 
Add a little more oil to the pan and gently fry the onions and carrots for 10 minutes until softened. 
Add the other vegetables and cook for 2 minutes. 
Return beef to pan. 
Gradually stir in the juices, stewed tomatoes and stock. 
Add sugar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, bay leaf and thyme; bring to the boil. 
Cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours.

to make the Dumplings:
140g cold butter
250g sef-raising flour
1 tsp of a mixture of thyme, dill and marjoram
salt and black pepper

Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it feels like fine breadcrumbs. 
Stir in the herbs with salt and pepper. 
Drizzle over 150ml water, and stir in quickly to form a light dough. 
Use floured hands to shape into balls.

To serve:
Place the dumplings on top of the stew
and bake for 20 minutes more until the dumplings are cooked through.
Sprinkle a little grated cheese, if you so wishes

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