Beef Stew and Dumplings
This is a great recipe for a slow cooker. Follow the instructions to the end of step 2 then transfer to a slow cooker dish. Pour over hot stock and add the bay leaves. Cover with the lid, switch the cooker on to the Low setting and cook for 8 hours, until the beef is very tender. Discard the bay leaves. Make up the dumplings and place round the edge of the slow cooker dish. Re-cover with the lid and continue to cook for a further 1 hour until the dumplings are risen and cooked through.
What you'll need
- 2tbsp plain flour
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 500g (1lb 2oz) Simon Howie diced beef
- 25g (1oz) butter
- 1tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 450g (1lb) carrots, peeled and sliced
- 600ml (1pt) beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 175g (6oz) self raising flour + extra for dusting
- 75g (3oz) beef suet
Putting it all together
- Put the flour in a bowl and season well. Toss in the beef to coat in the flour.
- Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan until bubbling and fry the beef with the flour, stirring for about 5 minutes until browned all over. Using a draining spoon, transfer to a heatproof plate. Reheat the pans juices and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened.
- Put the beef back in the saucepan and stir in the carrots. Pour over the stock, bring to the boil, cover and reduce to a gentle simmer; cook for about 2 hours until tender.
- Just before the end of the cooking time, make the dumplings. Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in the suet. Season well and stir in approx. 150ml (1/4pt) cold water to form a softish dough. Lightly dust your hands and work surface with a little more flour and knead the dough lightly. Form into 8 equal portions and shape into balls.
- Stir the stew well and discard the bay leaves. Arrange the dumplings round the edge of the saucepan, re-cover and continue to cook for a further 30 minutes until the dumplings are risen and cooked through.