Beef Stew with Mustard Dumplings

Preparation info

  • Serves

    4

    • Difficulty

      Complex

Appears in

The Times Calendar Cookbook

By Katie Stewart

Published 1977

  • About

Dumplings have to be cooked in a traditional stew which is simmered over direct heat. Choose a pan big enough to allow room for the dumplings to be added later. This is a marvellous way of cooking a complete meal in a single pan.

Ingredients

  • 675 g/1½ lb lean stewing steak
  • 2 medium-sized onions
  • 450 g/1 lb carrots
  • seasoned flour
  • 25 g/1 oz dripping or white cooking fat
  • a scant litre/1½ pints stock or water
  • salt and freshly milled pepper

    Method

    Trim away any fat and cut the meat into neat pieces. Peel and slice the onions and carrots. Toss the meat in seasoned flour and reserve any extra flour for making the gravy later. Heat the fat in a frying pan, add the meat and fry quickly to seal and brown on all sides. Remove the meat from the pan and place in a medium-sized saucepan with the prepared onions and carrots.

    Add a tablespoons of the seasoned flour to the hot fat remaining in the frying pan. If necessary add an extra nut of fat to absorb the flour. Stir over the heat until the flour begins to brown – this gives the colour to the gravy. Gradually stir in the hot stock. Stir well, scraping up the bits from the pan, and bring up to the boil. Check seasoning and strain over the meat and vegetables. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 2½-3 hours or until the meat is tender. About 35 minutes before the end of the cooking time prepare the dumplings. Sift the flour, salt and mustard into a basin. Add the suet and mixed herbs and sprinkle in the water. Stir with a fork to a soft scone-like dough. Turn out and divide the mixture into eight pieces.

    With floured hands roll each one into a ball, coat lightly with flour and set aside for 10 minutes before adding to the stew. Float the dumplings on top of the almost cooked meat – do not submerge them in the liquid. Cover and cook for the last 20 minutes of cooking time. Serve the meat and vegetables with the gravy and dumplings.