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Beef stew

A recipe for beef stew from an article in the Guardian, How to Cook the Perfect Beef Stew by Felicity Cloake. It serves 4-6 and takes about 20 minutes to prepare and 3 hours to cook, most of which is unattended.



  • Shin of beef - 800 g
  • Flour - 2 tbsp
  • Beef dripping, butter or oil - to suit
  • Onions - ×2
  • Beef stock - 300 ml
  • Stout - 300 ml
  • Bay leaf - ×1
  • Sprigs of thyme - ×3
  • Carrots - ×2
  • Small turnips - ×2

Dumplings (basic)

You could use any decent dumpling recipe here.

  • Plain flour - 100 g
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
  • Suet - 50 g


  • Trim the beef of outer sinew and cut into chunks
  • Season the flour with salt and pepper
  • Toss the beef in the flour
  • Slice the onions
  • Peeled the carrots and turnips and cut into chunky slices/pieces
  • Prepare the dumplings
    1. Sifting the flour into a bowl and add the baking powder and suet
    2. Bring it together into a dry dough with cold water
    3. Roll 6 balls


  1. Brown the meat in batches in a casserole, adding more fat as required and being careful to avoid burning
  2. Fry the onions until soft and slightly browned, adding more fat as required
  3. Add a little stock and deglaze the pan, then add back the beef, stock, stout and herbs and season
  4. Boil then simmer gently for two hours, partially covered
  5. Add the carrots and turnips, and simmer for about another hour, until the meat is tender enough to cut with a spoon
    • If you have time and you want to reduce your saturated fat intake then leave to cool and lift the fat off the top
  6. Add the dumplings to the stew. Partially cover and simmer for 25 minutes
  7. Season to taste and serve

Posted on 01 Jan 2014

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