The Perfect British Beef Stew & Dumplings


  • 1lb stewing beef
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 parsnips
  • Mixed herbs, salt and black pepper
  • Beef OXO stock cube and beef gravy thickener
  • 1lb flour
  • 8oz beef suet


Wash, peel and dice vegetables. Dice beef into cubes, removing and unwanted fat. Place all ingredients into a large saucepan and cover with boiling water. Add stock, salt and pepper. Bring back to boil, cover with a lid and allow to simmer until meat is tender. At this stage you can thicken the gravy and add a treaspoon of mixed herbs, then bring back to boil before adding the dumplings, which you can prepare while the meat cooks. Dumplings Place flour into a mixing bowl with suet and a small teaspoon of mixed herbs and a pinch of salt. Rub the fat into the flour as if you are making crumble. Add a small amount of cold water until the mixture is sticky. Sprinkle some flour onto a pastry board and some on your hands, and remove a small amount of dough. Make into small balls but not too tightly. Leave to rest until ready to add to the stew. They usually take about twenty minuted to cook. You can bake them in the oven if you so desire. Place all the cooked stew into a casserole dish and place dumplings on top of the stew and bake in a hot over for about twenty to thirty minutes, Fan ovens take slightly less time. To get the best taste from herbs add them toward the end of cooking.

Enjoy your meal and a Happy New Year to you all!

Retired chef, Brian A. Blackmore.

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