I named this A Winter's Walk Beef Stew, as it is JUST the kind of hearty and welcoming meal to come back to after a cold and energetic winter's walk! The dumplings are baked for the last 20 minutes on top of the stew and are deliciously crisp and golden, but still fluffy and light underneath.
675g lean stewing beef (trimmed of fat and cubed)
2 tablespoons plain flour
salt & black pepper
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
2 - 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced
4 large carrots, peeled and diced
225g chopped plum tomatoes
300ml beef stock ( made up with half water and beer or beef stock, made up with half water and wine)
225g self raising flour
1 teaspoon dried herbs (such as parsley, sage, thyme, majoram and rosemary)
JUST the kind of hearty and welcoming meal to come back to after a cold and energetic winter's walk. The dumplings are baked for the last 20 minutes on top of the stew and are deliciously crisp and golden, but still fluffy and light underneath.
BEEF AND CARROT STEW:
Toss the meat in the flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper.
Fry the meat in the butter (over a medium to high heat) in a large roomy frying pan or skillet until browned, turning constantly.
Remove the sealed browned meat and set aside.
Add the onions, garlic and carrots (and optional vegetables) to the same pan and fry for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden and coloured.
Put the meat in to a suitable sized oven proof casserole dish or dutch oven, such as a Le Creuset. Add the fried vegetables, tinned chopped tomatoes and the beef stock - mix well, cover with a lid and place into a pre-heated oven 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for 2 hours.
Twenty minutes before the end of the 2 hours cooking time, take the stew out of the oven, remove the lid and add the dumplings, drop them on top of the stew. Do NOT replace the lid, continue to bake uncovered for a further 20 to 25 minutes or until dumplings have risen and are crusty, crispy and golden brown.
Serve immediately with steamed cabbage, greens and baby potatoes.
Mix the flour with the salt, pepper and herbs in a mixing bowl.
Stir in the suet or grated frozen butter and then add water VERY carefully and slowly - mixing in between, until the dumpling dough is soft, but not sticky.
Shape the dough into 8 round dumplings, and drop them on top of the beef stew 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
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