Beef Casserole with Herb Dumplings

Serves: 4-6

You will need

675g lean beef chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
2 tablespoons oil
10 small shallots, or button onions, peeled
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons plain flour
1½ pints good, hot beef stock
2 tablespoons horseradish sauce
2 bay leaves
2 large sprigs fresh thyme

For the herb dumplings:
225g self-raising flour
Pinch salt
50g cold butter, cubed
2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme or flat-leaf parsley
120-150ml cold water


1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan, season the beef and cook for 4-5 minutes in batches until brown. Transfer to a 3 pint ovenproof casserole dish with a lid.

2. In the same pan add the shallots or onions, garlic, carrots and parsnips and
cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the flour, cook for 1-2 minutes then spoon into the casserole dish.

3. Add the stock, horseradish sauce and herbs. Bring to the boil. Cover and cook in the oven for 2-2½ hours, stirring occasionally.

4. To prepare the dumplings, put the flour and salt into a large bowl and rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix together to form a smooth dough and shape into 8 medium-sized balls.

5. 20-25 minutes before the end of the cooking time remove the casserole from the oven, adjust the seasoning, add the dumplings and return to the oven uncovered for the remainder of the cooking time.

6. Serve with creamy mash and braised Savoy cabbage.

Tip: If preferred, use boneless beef shin but cook for 3 hours. For a more traditional dumpling recipe replace the butter with beef suet.

Recipe courtesy of 

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