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

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 3 hours 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the casserole
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 575 g (1¼ lb) stewing steak, cut into 5 cm (2 inch) chunks
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 225 g (8 oz) swede/rutabaga, cut into small chunks) (half a small rutabaga)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) Guinness (⅔ cup) (optional)
  • 300 ml (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
  • 140 g (5 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (1 cup)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 40 g (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 sauté pan with lid for this recipe.

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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. Then stir in the Guinness. (If omitting the Guinness, just add extra stock.)

  • Now stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours.

  • For the dumplings
  • Make up the dumplings 10 minutes before the casserole is ready.

  • Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.

  • Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

  • Mix in the herbs.

  • Then 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.

  • 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.

  • To serve
  • Accompany with creamy mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.
Print Recipe

Updated: January 17, 2019

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