Hearty Beef Casserole with Herb Dumplings

 

The addition of Guinness makes this a hearty beef casserole on a cold winter’s day. The beef is cooked very slowly with carrots, swede/rutabaga, and onions in the Guinness and beef stock. Soak all this up with herby dumplings.

 

Hearty Beef Casserole with Herb Dumplings
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 3 hours 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the casserole
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 450g (1 lb) stewing steak, cut into 5cm (2 inch) chunks
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 225g (8 oz) swede/rutabaga, cut into small chunks (half a small rutabaga)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) Guinness (⅔ cup) (optional)
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) good beef stock (1¼ cups)
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of thyme

  • For the dumplings
  • 140g (5 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (1 cup)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 40g (1½ oz) butter (3 tbsp)
  • 120.ml (4 fl oz) milk (½ cup)
  • 1 tbsp mixed dried herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme), or
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped and a pinch of black pepper

  • You will also need a deep sided frying pan for this recipe.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) (gas 2)

  3. For the casserole
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan and brown the beef over a medium heat. Set aside.

  5. Add the remaining oil to the pan, reduce the heat, and gently cook the onions and carrots for 10 minutes until softened. Then add the swede/rutabaga and cook for a further 2 minutes.

  6. Return the beef to the pan, stir in the flour, and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the hot stock, stirring continuously, until there is a smooth sauce. Stir in the Guinness. (If omitting the Guinness, just add extra stock.)

  7. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Then cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours.

  8. For the dumplings
  9. Make up the dumplings 15 minutes before the casserole is ready.

  10. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the herbs. Using a flat-bladed knife, gradually stir in enough milk to make a soft but not sticky dough (you may not need all the milk). Divide the dough into 8 balls.

  11. Drop the dumplings onto the top of the casserole, spaced evenly apart. Cover and cook the casserole for a further 20 minutes until the dumplings are puffed up.

  12. To serve
  13. Accompany with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.

Updated: March 13, 2018

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