Beef and Ale Stew

Beef and Ale Stew

I don’t know about elsewhere in the country but Farnborough has definitely taken a drop in temperature. The gloves and scarves are out; the Candle is burning away and I’m so excited for warm, comforting winter meals. Which brings me nicely on to my next instalment of ‘Celebrity Favourite’.

Gordon Ramsay. Is he a bit like marmite? I mean it wasn’t ‘like’ at first site, but he’s definitely grown on me. when I saw his beef and ale stew, I made it THAT night; and it’s since become one of my favourite meals to cook in the colder weather. Plus the wholegrain mustard dumplings are soooooo good.

Just this evening I have ordered the book from Amazon, it’s only a fiver now! So, I guess you may see some more Ramsay recipes soon.

I didn’t have any shallots, so used 2 white onions instead and it worked perfectly well.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

700g stewing beef (in chunks)
2 tbsp plain flour
Olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
150g pearl onions/baby shallots OR 2 medium onions – peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
4 thyme sprigs
3 bay leaves
500ml beer or ale (I use Newcastle Brown)
2-3 tsp tomato purée
300ml beef or chicken stock
salt & pepper to season

For the dumplings:
125g self raising flour, plus a little extra for dusting
75g suet
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 150c. Season the beef with salt and pepper and then dust in the flour.

2. Place a large (hob and oven safe) casserole dish with a dash of oil in, over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the beef until coloured/brown on all sides.

3. Add the carrots, onions, garlic and herbs and stir for 2 minutes.

4. Pour in the ale and scrape all the bits from the bottom (they’re full of flavour!). Boil for 2 minutes then stir in the purée and then the stock and bring to a simmer. Mix well and then cover with a lid and place in the oven for 2 and half hours (the beef should become really tender).

5. Whilst cooking, make the dumplings by placing the flour and suet in a bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper and the mustard. Mix to combine then add a dash of warm water to form a thick dough.

6. With floured hands roll the dough into 8-12 balls (depending on the size, I made really big ones!)

7. Remove the stew from the oven then increase the temperature to 180c. Place the dumplings in the stew so they float on top. Replace the lid and put back in the oven for 20-25 minutes, if you want crispy dumplings remove the lid for the last 10 minutes.

8. Serve with greens.

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