This is how to make Beef stew for the coldest wintry evenings, tuck into a rich beef stew with fluffy dumplings to warm you right down to your toes.
For the beef stew
2 tbsp olive oil
750g/1lb 10oz beef braising steak, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp plain flour
2 garlic cloves, crushed
175g/6oz baby onions, peeled
150g/5oz celery, cut into large chunks
150g/5oz carrots, cut into large chunks
2 leeks, roughly chopped
200g/7oz swede, cut into large chunks
150ml/5fl oz red wine
500ml/18fl oz beef stock
2 fresh bay leaves
3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
3 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, or to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dumplings
125g/4½oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp baking powder
water, to make a dough
1 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
- 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 puffed up 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.
Source: BBC FOODS