What a treat returning home after a lovely Autumnal walk into a house rich with the aroma of a hearty dinner… Let the oven do most of the work on this one, an easy to prepare stew, full of flavour. And beer 😮
Beef in Beer with Horseradish & Mustard Dumplings (Serves 8+)
900g braising steak, cubed
2 tbl flour
Salt & pepper
3 tbl sunflower oil
2 onions, rustically chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
440ml brown ale
440ml beef stock
150g self raising flour
40g beef dripping
2 tbl chopped parsley
1 tbl creamed horseradish
1 tbl wholegrain mustard
You’ll need a casserole dish with a lid that seals well and a wide surface area to fit all the dumplings in!
As usual, pop to your local butcher to pick up some lovely braising steak – tender, local and wonderful! I have yet to discover any supermarket meat than can match the texture, flavour or quality of that from a lovely local butcher.
In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, pepper & beef until the beef is well coated.
Fry the beef off in batches until browned, ideally in your casserole dish, then remove from the dish and keep warm. Fry the onion in the same dish until soft, then add the chopped carrots, celery and roughly torn rosemary. Fry for a further 5 minutes, then add the beef and juices back in, plus the beer and beef stock. N.B. The better your stock, the better your stew will be – make your own, or use a nice rich stock from your butcher, Deli, or other good quality stock base.
Bring the whole lot up to a boil, then leave to simmer in the oven covered tightly for 1 – 1.5 hours.
About 20 minutes before you want to eat, make up the dumplings: Rub the butter & dripping into the flour, add salt and the chopped parsley. Mix in 7 or 8 tablspoons of water to make a soft dough. Shape the dough into golf-ball sized balls and drop them into the stew to cook for 10-15 minutes. When feeling fancy, I shape the dumplings by rolling them gently on a plate with some flour before dropping them into the stew. If you want a more rustic look or are just plain impatient, simply bung dessert spoon dollops of the dough straight in to your stew, they’ll cook just as well!
The dumplings will expand and puff up, probably covering the entire surface of your stew. Remove the lid for the last few minutes cooking so they get a little colour, then serve with seasonal greens and a nice creamy mash.
Shop Local: This recipe debuted at the farm in September 2012: Thank you to Geraldine at Chris Gibbons Butchers in Hay-on-Wye for the awesomely gorgeous braising steak, and Stuart and Kieran at Castle Grocers for the veg. We love you lots!
Now then, who’s going to experiment with different local ales for this dish…. I’d love suggestions! Any volunteers??!
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