We’ve had a bad run of winter colds in our family so far this winter, and it’s really only just begun. And I haven’t much felt like cooking while in the midst of it all. But today I really felt like cooking, something filling, something nourishing.
It’s also been cold and wet—with the winter solstice has come the wintery weather. While I dream of tropical holidays, the reality is quite different. This kind of weather demands food that sticks to the ribs, food that warms from the inside.
So this is a beef stew, a casserole if you will. What makes it a bit different are the dumplings, soft pillows of cheesy goodness floating on the top of the rich stew. Mmm, delicious!
Beef Stew with Parsley Dumplings
Adapted from Slow Cooking, by The Australian Women’s Weekly
Serves 4-61 kg beef chuck steak, cut into 5cm pieces 2 Tbs plain flour 2-3 Tbs olive oil 1/2 Tbs (25g) butter 2 medium onions, chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed 300g Dutch carrots, peeled and cut into chunks 1 cup red wine 2 Tbs tomato paste 2 c beef stock 4 sprigs of thyme 1 c self raising flour 1 Tbs (50g) butter 1 egg, lightly beaten 1/4 c grated parmesan cheese 1/4 c finely chopped flat leaf parsley 50g semi-sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped finely 1/4 c milk, approximately
Preheat oven to 160C.
Heat 2 Tbs oil in a large dutch oven or flameproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Toss the beef with the flour and shake off the excess. Brown in batches and set aside. If required, add a bit more oil between batches
Heat the butter in the same pot or dish over medium-high heat and saute the onions, garlic and carrots for about 5 minutes until the onion has softened. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until it has reduced to about 1/4 cup. Return the beef to the pot and add the tomato paste, stock and thyme. Bring to the boil. Cover and transfer to the oven. cook for 1 .5 hours.
While the stew is cooking, prepare the dumplings as follows. Rub the butter into the self-raising flour with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg, cheese, parsley, tomato and milk and stir until the mixture forms a soft sticky dough.
Remove the dish from the oven and drop tablespoonfuls of dumpling mixture onto the surface, leaving about 1.5-2cm between each dumpling. Cook in the oven for a further 20 minutes, uncovered, until the dumplings are golden brown and cooked through.