Sunday, October 24, 2010

Home Sweet Home Cooking

Today was a beautiful day... the sun was shining and I am beyond excited for my Mum's impending visit... It's been almost two years since she was last here and a lot has changed in this little house since then.

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... :-)

Take care.

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…


  1. my mother hated cooking to this day she brags to folks about my cooking and baking and has no idea where i get it from......gosh my dad's mom was a baker (good memories) and i must have picked up some things from my mom-in-law she always had us there 1 night a week was my son's choice what to have and now my oldest son is moving back closer to home and wants some MOM's cooking ....i just can't tell you how that made me feel i am anxious for that 1st night!!!

  2. I love the look of that stew-how yummy, i might try that on wed or thur, i think i need a whole day to get around a new dish...but then hopefully i can get on top of it all!!
    The dumplings look so super good, its proper Autumn food!

  3. See, you always teach me something new. I thought suet was only for bird feeders ;) I'll keep an eye out for it. So curious

  4. Oh, you must be so
    excited that your
    mom is coming! This
    stew sounds a lot like
    the one I grew up with,
    sans the dumplings, which
    I bet are an amazing
    addition : ) Happy day!
    xx Suzanne

  5. I do indeed have a special meal that says home sweet home, and my Mum and I call it 'slop'. Essentially it's a winter warmer, and we just slop whatever we have on hand, but if organised it's especially good; and is commonly known as stew. :) x
    The way a slow cooked meal permeates the home with it's inticing aroma can NOT be beaten!

  6. Isn't it exciting having family visit? I don't think I have any one meal that makes me think "home" but the smell of a roast dinner always makes me feel content, as does the smells of Christmas baking with cinnamon, orange and cloves. That's not quite the same in Aus as it was in the UK though. X

  7. Oh I love the look of this stew ... I have my nephew (a teenage boy) staying with me this week and not a clue what to feed him! It's pouring down here in the North of UK so a stew will be good! Thanks. Jules x

  8. oh honey...i'm counting with you...i KNOW how exciting the waiting is...& that's not even the children!!
    oh you & your mama can cook up a storm for a whole month together...with those gorgeous gals of yours....

    LOVE this recipe....perfect for the month of october in ol' you know....
    & it's kinda lovlier cooking it whilst your mum is on her way....

    enjoy all the preparation hon!!

    melissa xx

  9. My daughters are coming with their families to visit me in three weeks. They haven't seen all the remodeling. I get to see them around both their birthdays. I can't wait!

  10. How exciting to see your mom. I do a crockpot stew all the time. I love crockpot cooking and there is nothing nicer than to walk into the house after work and smell dinner cooking.

  11. Hi Laura,
    One of my favourite things when the weather cools down is a delicious stew! How exciting to have your mum coming to visit (mine had a field day when I let her loose on the Aga over here :)) )
    I hope you have a wonderful time cooking up a storm together!
    Melissa xx

  12. On Sunday I roasted a chicken then made chicken noodle soup which we've been eating all week :) i'd forgotten how the simplest recipes give me the comforts of childhood memories. This recipe sounds delicious.... i NeeD to make this this weekend, our weather is turning chilly!!!
    Have a wonderful time with your mum... how exciting!!


Your comments make my day!

Related Posts with Thumbnails