A great hearty meal that is perfect to satisfy any cravings and will provide that much needed comfort food feeling. The traditional slow-cooked stew will leave you fuller, satisfied and warmer for longer.
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3, 160°C, fan 140°C and heat a large casserole dish over a high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is smoking start browning the meat in batches. When each batch is browned, put it aside and brown the next batch until all the meat is done.
Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the empty casserole dish, and allow to heat before adding the onion, celery, carrots, garlic and tomato puree. Stir thoroughly and allow to cook for 5 minutes, before adding the flour and cooking for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Next add all of your liquid to the dish. Bring it up to the boil, then add the herbs and place it in the oven while you get on with making the dumplings. The stew will take around 2 1/2 to 3 hours to cook, and is ready when the beef is meltingly tender.
To make the dumplings put the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl, season with salt, pepper and dried oregano, and grate the cold butter in. Gently rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add the vinegar and bring the dough together into a ball (add a little water if the dough is still too dry to come together). Divide the dough into 8 pieces and gently roll each into a round ball.
When your stew has 40 minutes left to cook, remove it from the oven and spread the dumplings on top. Replace the lid and cook for 20 minutes, then flip the dumplings and cook for another 20 minutes.
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For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.