Rich Beef Casserole
For the coldest wintry evenings, get tucked into this rich beef casserole with fluffy dumplings to warm you right down to your toes. Simple to cook and when served with Mashed Potato it’s just really easy comfort food.
For the Casserole
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 25g/1oz butter
- 750g/1lb 10oz beef braising steak, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 175g/6oz baby onions, peeled
- 150g/5oz celery, cut into large chunks
- 150g/5oz carrots, cut into large chunks
- 2 leeks, roughly chopped
- 200g/7oz swede, cut into large chunks
- 150ml/5fl oz red wine
- 500ml/18fl oz beef stock
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
- Worcestershire sauce, to taste
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, or to taste
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Dumplings
- 125g/4½oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 60g/2½oz suet
- water, to make a dough
- mashed potato
- 1 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- For the beef casserole, heat the oil and butter in an ovenproof casserole and fry the beef until browned on all sides.
- Sprinkle over the flour and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and all the vegetables and fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in the wine, stock and herbs, then add the Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar, to taste. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Cover with a lid, transfer to the oven and cook for about two hours, or until the meat is tender.
- For the dumplings, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add the suet and enough water to form a thick dough.
- With floured hands, roll spoonful’s of the dough into small balls.
- After two hours, remove the lid from the casserole and place the balls on top of the casserole. Cover, return to the oven and cook for a further 20 minutes, or until the dumplings have puffed up and are tender. (If you prefer your dumplings with a golden top, leave the lid off when returning to the oven.)
- To serve, place a spoonful of mashed potato onto each of four serving plates and top with the casserole and dumplings. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.