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Beef, beetroot and butter bean stew with Stilton dumplings recipe

Beef, beetroot and butter bean stew with Stilton dumplings recipe

70 ratings

Hearty and full of flavour, this deliciously wholesome stew is a surefire crowd-pleaser. Slow-cooked for beef that simply falls apart and topped with doughy Stilton dumplings - cold winter evenings were made for meals like this. See method

  • Serves 8
  • 30 mins to prepare and 3 hrs to cook
  • 416 calories / serving
  • Freezable


  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 600g beef casserole steak, diced
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 400g pack shallots, peeled but kept whole; 2 reserved and finely chopped
  • 450g raw beetroot, peeled and cut into thick wedges
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 150ml red wine
  • 1 litre of beef stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400g tin butter beans, drained

For the dumplings

  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 3 thyme sprigs, leaves removed and chopped
  • 50g suet, grated
  • 60g Stilton, roughly crumbled

For the green beans

  • 3 x 220g packs green beans, trimmed
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
If you don't have these beans, you can use any tinned bean in water

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    18g 25%
  • Saturates

    7g 34%
  • Sugars

    13g 14%
  • Salt

    2g 33%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 36.3g Protein 26.9g Fibre 7.4g


  1. Season the plain flour with the allspice, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly, then coat the beef. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large casserole dish on a medium-high heat and cook half of the beef for 2-3 mins, stirring once or twice, until golden. Remove and set aside, then repeat with 1 tbsp oil and the remaining beef. If there are lots of bits stuck to the bottom of the dish, add a little water and keep it on the heat, stirring and scraping, until loosened, then pour off and reserve.
  2. Preheat the oven to gas 3, 170°C, fan 150°C. Add the remaining oil to the dish and gently fry the carrots, celery, parsnips and whole shallots for 10 mins, until golden and starting to soften. Stir in the beetroot, garlic and thyme and cook for 2 mins, stirring, before adding the beef, red wine, stock, tomato purée, bay leaves and any reserved water from step 1. Bring to the boil then cover and put in the oven to cook for 2 hrs 15 mins.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the dumplings, put the flour and thyme in a bowl with the suet and Stilton; season, then mix together. Pour in 3-4 tbsp of water, a tablespoon at a time, and stir in quickly with a knife to form a dough. Shape the dough into 12 walnut-sized balls.
  4. Remove the beef from the oven and turn the temperature up to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Stir in the butter beans, put the dumplings on top, then return to the oven for 20 mins, until the dumplings are cooked through, the beef is tender and the sauce is thick.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the green beans. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the beans for 4 minutes. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water. Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat then add the chopped shallots and garlic and cook for 5 mins, until softened. Add the mustard, vinegar and 2 tbsp of the reserved cooking water and bring to the boil. Stir in the green beans and toss together until combined. Serve immediately with the stew and dumplings, discarding the thyme and bay leaves.

Tip: Try swapping the Stilton for 2 tbsp creamed horseradish.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

Freeze the stew only. Once the cooked dish has cooled completely, transfer it to an airtight, freezer-safe container, seal and freeze for up to 1 month. To serve, defrost overnight before reheating thoroughly.

See more Beef stew recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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