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Mum’s Beef Stew & My Dumplings

When I think of stew, I think of cold Sunday afternoons in the middle of winter, a roaring fire and a blanket. Isn’t it a bit strange, then, to be cooking stew in the middle of August?! 

Perhaps it’s because we have just returned from a week camping in Devon where it was very chilly at night or perhaps it’s because the nights are getting rather nippy at home too. Whatever the reason, I have just reminded myself how much I LOVE this stew.

I have fond memories of coming home from school to a massive pot of this blipping away on the hob. I could smell it outside the front door and it would make my mouth water until it was time to eat. I ALWAYS had at least 2 bowls full, sometimes more. It really is that good!

I’ve used carrots, swede and potato in this but it works with almost any veg that won’t turn to a mush. Peas, cauliflower, broccoli and more all work well in this recipe. It really will help to use up your leftover veg.

This is a slow cooker recipe because that’s how I like my Sundays. Chuck this in the slow cooker and leave it for the day to cook away, making that beef meltingly tender and keeping you stress-free. However, you can cook it on the hob too! Use a low heat for around 2 hours before adding the dumplings, but stir every now and then to stop it sticking.

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Mum’s Beef Stew and My Dumplings
My mum’s recipe for a traditional beef stew with my super easy dumplings too!
  • 500g stewing steak, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 500g (prepared weight) mixed vegetables, diced or cut into small pieces
  • 1 tin oxtail soup
  • 1 tin baked beans
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 65g cold butter
1. Fry the beef and chopped onion in a pan until sealed on the outside then tumble into the slow cooker.2. Add the prepared vegetables, oxtail soup and around 1/2 can of water and mix well.3. Cook on high for 1 hour then turn down to low. It’s hard to cook this for too long, so you can be fairly relaxed. If it’s likely to be on all day, just leave it on low from the start.4. Around 30 mins before you are ready to eat, stir the tin of baked beans into the stew and switch to high to allow it to heat through.5. At the same time, grate the butter into the flour and rub together with your fingers until combined. Add cold water, a splash at a time until the mixture comes together into a dough. Form this into 6 balls and pop into the top of the stew, pushing them down so they are half submerged. Serve when they are cooked fully.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings

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