Monday, 12 January 2015

Weekday Stew with Dumplings



We've got a cold old wet and stormy week coming up! ..........Uggghh.........

 And apparently we need to batten down the hatches toward Wednesday/Thursday when a great big storm is going to hit us here in Cornwall. So Andrew spent yesterday adding new chain to the boat's mooring line and making sure she was all snugged down - ready to ride out whatever is coming, he then checked over the outside of the property, got in loads of wood for the fires and then he had a look at the workshop roof to make sure that will survive as well!


I spent the day sat in front of the fire reading my book - well it was Sunday!

So to withstand such horrible wintry weather, and to help pay back Andrew for all his hard work, what's needed is a good comforting stew - it's perfect for warming your sole and keeping the chills at bay.......

So here's my week day stew recipe  - it's oh so simple...

Recipe
Serves 4

1lb 8oz beef - stewing steak cut into cubes
2 onions - diced
1 tablespoons flour
Salt & Pepper
Carrots - I didn't weigh them! probably about 4-5oz - Whoops sorry!
4oz mushrooms - cut in half
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 beef stock cube
2 teaspoons hot horseradish sauce
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1 pint boiling water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
a couple dried bay leaves
sprigs of thyme

For the dumplings
4oz Self raising flour (or 4oz plain flour & 1tsp baking powder)
2oz suet - shredded
salt
loads freshly ground black pepper
water to form dough

Preheat oven to 180C / Gas 4


First check over your stewing steak and remove any tough bits of sinew - don't cut off all the fat though as this helps to keep the meat tender ...


Mix some salt & pepper with the flour on a plate and dust the beef cubes with it....


Making sure all sides are covered......


Heat some olive oil, and a little bit of butter, in a large pan and quickly brown the meat on all sides. Pop the meat into your casserole pot when done. You may need to fry the beef cubes in batches - too many in the pan will lower the temperature and cause the meat to broil not just seal on the outside....


Add the onions to the frying pan and soften and trow in the carrots just before the end -  to help them pick up the flavours from the frying pan....


Pop your carrots and onions in with the beef....


Now make up your cooking liquor....

In a bowl mix together the stock cube, mustard, horseradish and tomato sauce.....


Add the boiling water and Worcestershire sauce - mix well until the stock cube has dissolved and the sauces have combined.


Pour over the meat & vegetables in the casserole pot....


Add your herbs and then cover and pop in the oven for about a hour and a half - until the meat is tender


Now add your mushrooms, give it all a gentle stir, pop the lid on and return to the oven for about 20 minutes......

Whilst the mushrooms are cooking make up your dumplings


Measure all the dry ingredients into a bowl along with a pinch of salt & loads of black pepper...


add enough cold water to form a soft dough and shape into small balls - this recipe should make about 8. Use floured hands to form the ball - it's really sticky - and don't squish them too much be light and gentle with them....


Pop the dumpling balls into the stew  and nestle them down in the liquid. Pop the lid on and return to the oven for about 20 minutes....

After 20 minutes the dumplings should have cooked and swollen in to soft fluffy balls - if you would like them to be golden on top just take the lid off for the last five minutes of cooking.....

 Stew


To add a bit of greenery to the proceedings we had a big bowl of buttered and peppered kale to serve along side it........


so that's my simple weekday beef stew.......you can have it on a weekend but then it would be your 'simple weekEND stew' ....... do you see where I'm going with this!.......... I could go on ..........but I wont!...

However, I do recommend it to drive away the winter blues and keep out the cold whenever you choose to cook it....

Have a good start to your week

Lizx