Recipe Beef Casserole with Herb Dumplings

Cookery with Nadia Swahala

Beef Casserole with Herb Dumplings 

Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3

Head the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish over a high heat. One hot add the beef chunks and fry until golden brown all over. If your dish isn’t big enough to accommodate all of the mean in a single layer, then fry in two batches. Once the meat is nicely browned all over, remove to a plate and leave to one side.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the diced onion, crrots and celery. Fry the vegetables for 5-6 mintues until starting to soften. Add the bay leaves , dates and two 4cm strips of orange peel that can be easily removed with a peeler. Continue to fry for a further minute. Add the tomato puree and fry for a minute, stirring regularly.

Increase the heat to maximum and add the red wine. Let the wine bubble away and reduce by three-quarters. Pour in the beef stock and return the browned meat to the pan. Bring the whole lot to the boil before reducing to simmer. Place the lid on top and put the casserole into the preheated oven. Cook for 1 and a half hours, by which times the meat should be tender.

While the meat is cooking, tip the flour, suet and chopped herbs into a bowl along with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Mix together with a fork. Squeeze in the juice of half an orange and about half the water. Continue to bring the mixtures together with your fork, adding water as needed. You are aiming for quite a stiff dough. Divide the dough into eight, and roll into balls.

Remove the stew from the oven and take off the lid. Drop the dough balls into the stew as evenly spaced as possible. Increase the oven temperature to 190C/gas 5 and place the dish back into the oven, without the lid. Continue to cook for a further 30 minutes, by which time the dumplings should have swollen up, absorbing plenty of the delicious gravy. Serve immediately to only your very closest friends.

Serves 4-6

2 tbsp olive oil

1kg stewing beef (preferably shun), shopped into large (3cm) pieces

1 large onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced into 1 cm pieces

2 bay leaves

8 dates, roughly chopped into small pieces

peel of 1 orange

1 heaped tablespoon tomato puree

1 glass of red wine 300ml beef stock

Herb Dumplings

175g self-raising flour

60g shredded beef suet

1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped

2 bunches of chives, finely chopped

juice of a half and orange

120ml water

By alantitchmarsh