Beef Stew and Dumplings
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A Cosy Beef Stew and Dumplings In the Middle Of Winter
Recipe type: Slow Cooked Beef Stew and Dumplings
  • 21b (900g) braising steak
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of light olive oil
  • 1 70g pack of pancetta or 2 rashers of streaky bacon finely chopped
  • 1 250g pack of chestnut mushrooms (nice left whole if they're small)
  • 10 medium shallots
  • 2 sticks of celery finely chopped
  • 3 large organic carrots peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • generous seasoning of salt and pepper
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of plain flour
  • 1 organic beef stock cube in a large cup of boiled water
  • 2 tablespoons of wholegrain mustard
  • A generous splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 10 fl oz red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • small handful of parsley including stalks
  • For the dumplings:
  • 6oz (175g) self-raising flour
  • 3 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 oz (75g) vegetable suet
  • freshly milled salt and pepper
  1. Dry the meat with kitchen paper and dust with the flour and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Cut it into large bite-size chunks, if not already done so.The first part of the cooking is on the top of the stove and the second, slower part can be either in a slow cooker or in a heavy covered casserole dish in the oven. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and brown and seal the meat on both sides. Move it around checking that it browns all over as this will add to the richness of the flavour.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and bacon and soften them in oil over a medium heat until they appear translucent.
  3. Now add the rest of the prepared vegetables and combine.
  4. Scatter in a little more flour and seasoning and then add the balsamic vinegar and whole grain mustard.
  5. Add the wine and a good cupful of beef stock and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the herbs and reduce the heat to simmering.
  7. If you intend to put it in the slow cooker the next day, allow to cool and cover overnight. If you want only to reheat it the next day, then it can be cooked in the covered casserole in a low oven on gas mark 3 for 3 hrs.
  8. For the dumplings, mix the flour, suet, seasoning and parsley together in a bowl and gradually add a spoonful of water at a time until the mixture comes together and forms a stiff dough. Knead it lightly, roll the ball of dough in a little more flour and divide it into twelve little dumplings - don't worry, they will double in size when cooked.
  9. When the stew is cooked, remove the lid and nestle the dumplings gently on the surface. Return to the top shelf of the oven and cook until golden brown and crusty on top. If using a slow cooker, then turn up high to cook the dumplings, but they won't go crusty.
Recipe by Whole Food Home at