Anyhoo, we had so much to squeeze into this past weekend... what, with a family birthday in NYC, getting the house ready for my special visitor, and the usual day-to-day 'Mummy chores', I just had no time to prepare a Sunday roast (again)... And so, with my Mum on my mind, I cooked up a dish which took me straight back to her kitchen... beef stew and dumplings... My mum cooks the best stew (obviously, I'm biased here), and this is no mean feat, given that she has been a vegetarian for almost 60 years. She has no idea what it even tastes like!
With a stew, though, you can't go wrong... just throw it all in the pot and let it simmer for the whole afternoon... filling the house with a delicious aroma, which to me just says, 'Home Sweet Home'... And it comes with the added bonus that I only have one pan to wash... giving me more time to do fun things like... ooohhh, cleaning the blinds...
Do you have a dish that makes you think, 'Home Sweet Home?'
Hope you all have a super start to the week... I'm counting down the days... :-)
Beef Stew & Dumplings
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 rashers of streaky bacon (American bacon)
1 tablespoon of flour
2lb braising steak / chuck steak
750ml beef stock
12 Shallots (peeled and halved)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary (trimmed)
2 parsnips (cut into chunks)
2 carrots (cut into chunks) or a handful of baby carrots
1 small swede / waxy turnip (peeled and chopped into chunks)
100g self-raising flour
50g vegetable suet (this is a UK product, but I have a recipe that just substitutes this with grated cold butter)
pinch of salt
5 tablespoons (approx) of cold water
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Coat the beef lightly in the flour and add to the pan with the bacon. Cooking over a high heat to seal and brown them.
2. Add the beef stock, shallots, garlic, rosemary and bay leaves to the pan. Bring up to the boil, and then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 ¼ hours.
3. Add the parsnips, carrots and swede (waxy turnips). Cover for 45 minutes, or until the meat is very tender.
4. To make the dumplings, add the flour, vegetable suet and salt into a medium bowl. Add the cold water, a spoon at a time and mix with a round ended knife, until you have a firm but pliable dough. Divide the dough into small balls, (make sure your hands are floured, so that the dough doesn’t stick)
5. Place the dough balls on top of the simmering stew and cover for 20 minutes. After which, the dumplings should be light and fluffy.
6. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves and serve with mashed potatoes or steamed broccoli… Home Sweet Home…