Tag Archives: dumplings

Beef and Ale Stew

beef and ale stew recipe casserole

Much tinkering over the years has resulted in this stew, which is made the way we like it best: rich, tender and with just the right amount of sauce. The result is mouth-wateringly delicious. Because stew takes a while to cook, I make enough to eat a portion and freeze one (well, usually I get enough beef to make one and freeze 5 – I usually make 3 times the amount I made on Sunday!). So this feeds 4, or 2 twice. We fancied dumplings today, but I also use this as the filling for steak and ale pie.

Ingredients (stew)
  • 500 g beef, cut into chunks
  • about as many mushroom pieces (or whole button mushrooms) as there are beef chunks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 500 ml Guinness
  • 500 ml beef stock
  • flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tsps thyme

How to make it

Put the piece of beef along with enough flour to coat it, generous grinding of pepper, salt and about 2 tsps thyme into a sandwich bag and squiddle about. I’m a bit generous with the thyme because I think it makes it taste good. Then, brown the beef in batches in a frying pan and throw them into a waiting casserole dish as you go along. So as not to let the sticky brown stuff go to waste, fry the onions in it for a matter of a minute or two (just to take the edge off them) and throw them in the pot too. Tumble in the mushrooms. Pour in the ale/stout (it goes really fizzy, which is very satisfying) and the beef stock/oxo cube and water. Sometimes I feel it’s not beefy enough so I add another oxo cube.

At this stage it will look like this, but it only takes 1 1/2-2 hours in an oven at 180/200 for it to get like the picture at the top.¬†You don’t really need to add cornflour to thicken it, it seems to be happy with the flour from the beginning. It is SO easy!

Ingredients (dumplings)

This was the first time I’d ever made dumplings and it was really simple. I think in future I’d make two half the size, or one big one each. One each was definitely enough. So I’ll give the recipe to make two, cause it can be scaled up from there.
  • 50 g self raising flour
  • 25 g suet
  • salt, pepper and thyme
  • cold water to mix
How to make it
Put it all into a mixing bowl and add just enough water to make a dough. Too much will be ikky, but you can add a bit more flour if that happens (it did to me). Work the dough a little bit and mould into two golf-ball sized balls. Put on top of your stew and cook for 10 – 15 minutes.
(I put my stockpot back on the hob with the lid on to do the dumplings, but I think it can just as easily be done in the oven. I was just being cautious so I could keep an eye on them as I’d not done it before)