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Winter Warmer Stew

Posted by felicity Friday, October 19, 2012

Its Autumn; the leaves are turning golden, the nights are drawing in and its getting colder....but fireworks night is just around the corner!!  What's better than coming in from the cold, after you have been standing around in a field, to a home that smells of delicious food cooking?
We have the recipe for a lovely Warming Stew, that will taste so good after coming in from the cold it will be as if you have wrapped yourself up in a blanket!  Full of protein and healthy vegetables this meal is ideal for all the family.  How can something so delicious take only 30 minutes to prepare?  Try it and find out!

Winter Warmer Stew

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking time 2 hours
Serves 2 adults and 2 children
For the stew:
400g beef (diced)
400ml beef stock (if you do not have home made stock try using stock cubes with low salt content)
1 large shallot (chopped)
1 leek (chopped)
3 carrots (diced)
½ small swede (diced)
Handful mushrooms (halved)
2 cloves of garlic
1 Tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tsp mixed herbs
1 bay leaf
Glug olive oil
For the dumplings:
100g self raising flour
50g vegetable suet
5 Tbsp water
TO SERVE: Delicious with warm crusty bread and/or green beans
1.      Pre heat oven to 150C (130 Fan), gas mark 2
2.      Heat the oil in a large pan over a low heat and gently cook the shallot, garlic, leek, carrots, swede
3.      Turn up the heat and add the beef to the pan and brown.  Stir in the mixed herbs and cayenne pepper
4.      Add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes
5.      Pour over the stock, add the bay leaf and stir. 
6.      Bring to the boil then place the ingredients into a tagine or casserole dish with a lid and put it in the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes
7.      Meanwhile to make the dumplings mixing the flour and suet together and slowly add the water to create a sticky dough
8.      Using your hands make the dough into 8 balls, pop on a plate and cover and place in the fridge
9.      After the stew has been in the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, pop the dumplings into the stew, ensuring they are immersed into the liquid and place the lid back on the dish.  Cook for a further 45 minutes.
Tip: The longer the stew is cooking for the more tender the meat will become.
Adult-Add on: Add some smoked bacon or pancetta batons at step 2
Adult-Add on: For depth of flavour add a slosh of red wine at step 5

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