A steaming stew with delicious parsley dumplings? This is comfort food at its best.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 800g chuck beef steak, trimmed and cut into 5cm (2in) cubes
- 3 onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 500ml can Guinness or stout
- 300ml beef stock
- 4 carrots, sliced on the diagonal
- 1 tsp light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 175g self-raising flour
- 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
- 75g beef shredded suet
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 160ºC. Heat a heavy-based casserole dish with a lid on the hob. Add one tablespoon of the oil and as soon as it starts smoking, tip in the beef. Quickly brown on all sides, then transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. Set aside.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and then tip in the onions to and cook for about 5 minutes until lightly golden, stirring occasionally. Stir in the thyme and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Sprinkle in the flour and continue to cook over a low heat for another minute or so, stirring constantly.
- Gradually pour in the Guinness or stout, stirring until smooth after each addition. Pour in the stock, stirring to combine and season lightly, then add the carrots with the sugar and vinegar. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and tip the reserved beef, mixing well to combine. Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hour until the beef is almost tender and the liquid has reduced and slightly thickened.
- To make the dumplings, mix the flour, herbs and seasoning in a bowl and then mix in the suet. Add 6 tablespoons of cold water to make a fairly stiff but elastic dough that leaves the bowl clean. Knead it lightly and shape into 12 dumplings. Remove the stew from the oven and take off the lid. Increase the heat of the oven to 200C. Pop in the dumplings into the stew and return to the oven for another 30 minutes or until the dumplings are golden brown and crusty. Serve straight to the table.