Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Beef stew with green peppercorns and cheddar dumplings

Mince and dumplings was a regular meal in our house as we were growing up. This
meal tonight was a bit more sophisticated using steak instead of minced beef and light cheesy dumplings instead of dumplings made with suet. There were lots of really good flavours coming though with the balsamic vinegar being one of the stronger ones. I loved the roasted carrots in the dish and felt that peas were enough of an accompaniment as the dumplings provided the carbohydrates. This recipe was taken from olive magazine this month.

Serves 6
1kg braising steak, trimmed of fat and cut into chunks
2 tbsp of plain flour
olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 onions sliced
500g of carrots, peeled and halved
2 tbsp of thyme, chopped leaves (I sprinkled in some dried thyme) 
1 tbsp Green peppercorns in brine, drained and rinsed
250ml of Guinness
400ml beef stock
2 tbsp of tomato puree
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Cheddar Dumplings;
150g self raising flour
60g chilled butter, cut into small pieces
60g mature cheddar
1 egg beaten
1-2 tbsp milk

Heat the oven to 190C. 
Season the meat,then coat in the flour. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the steak in batches, shaking off the excess flour and cook until browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. Fry the onion in more oil for 5 minutes then add the meat again with the thyme, Guinness, stock, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, tomato puree, carrots and peppercorns and bring to the boil. Put in the oven covered for 1½ -2 hours. 
Put the dumpling ingredients together in a bowl and stir to a soft dough. Be careful not to overmix, so just bring it together. (At this point I used my hands to rub in the butter slightly before adding the milk and egg, although this was not specified) Add the dumplings at the end of the cooking time, leave the lid off and cook until golden and crusty for about 20 minutes.

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