Beef & Guinness stew with bacon dumplings
Cosy-up this winter with a hearty stew. This beef and stout casserole really packs in the flavour, and comes served with delicious bacon dumplings, cabbage and mash
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1kg boneless beef shin, cut into 3cm chunks
- 200g pearl onions or small shallots
- 4 medium carrots, chopped to the same size as the shallots
- 3 celery sticks, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 500ml beef or chicken stock
- 500ml Guinness
- 1 large thyme sprig
- 4 star anise
- buttered cabbage and mash, to serve
For the dumplings
- 100g smoked bacon, finely minced
- ½ tbsp oil
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 125g self-raising flour
- 60g beef suet
- 1 egg yolk
- small pack parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
- First, make the dumplings. Gently fry the bacon until crisp in a large lidded casserole dish. Stir in the thyme leaves, then tip into a bowl and leave to cool slightly.
- Add the flour and suet to the bacon, and stir everything together. Make a well in the middle, then add the egg yolk, parsley, ½ tsp pepper and 2 tbsp very cold water, and start to mix into a dough.
- Keep adding water until you a have a firm but pliable dough. Divide the mixture into eight balls and chill until needed.
- Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Quickly clean the casserole dish with some kitchen paper, then heat the oil. Brown the meat really well in batches, then set aside.
- Tip in the onions or shallots, carrots and celery, brown well, then stir in the flour. Add the meat and any juices back into the dish, give everything a good stir, then pour in the stock and Guinness.
- Season, then tuck in the thyme and star anise and bring everything to a simmer. Cover with a lid, then cook in the oven for about 2 hrs until the meat is tender.
- Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the dumplings evenly on top. Put the lid back on and return to the oven for 20 mins, then cook for a final 10 mins with the lid off to brown the dumplings.
- Bring the dish to the table in all its glory. Spoon into bowls with cabbage and mash, to serve.