Perfect for a chilly day, this beef stew with dumplings recipe is a comforting dish from Dominic Chapman. The kids can get involved with making the dumplings for this delicious dish.
- Begin by cutting the braising beef into big pieces. It is important that you do not cut the pieces too small – the meat is going to be braised until tender, and smaller pieces may break up.
- Heat a dash of vegetable oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Cook the meat and pancetta in the pan until browned. Pour in the vinegar and stir well for 1-2 minutes. Take the pan off the heat.
- Place a knob of butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the leek, celery and carrots once the butter has melted. Cook until the vegetables are golden brown and soft. Take the pan off the heat.
- Repeat the process in a separate pan with the sliced onion, star anise and butter. In another pan, cook the mushrooms in the same way along with a knob of butter. You’ll end up using a lot of pans, so you may have to rope the little ones in when it comes to washing up!
- Preheat the oven to gas 8, 220°C, fan 200°C.
- Cut the tomato in half and place in a bowl with the caster sugar. Toss to coat the tomatoes and then arrange them cut-side down on a baking tray. Drizzle some olive oil over the top.
- Place the tomatoes in the oven and cook until caramelised and tender – this takes around 20 minutes.
- Place the caramelised vegetables, the meat, pancetta and tomatoes in a flameproof casserole dish. Add the bouquet garni and pour in enough stock to cover the ingredients. Leave to simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
- Strain the sauce into a separate pan once the meat has become tender. Place the sauce back on the hob and continue simmering until it reduces and has a thin, gravy-like consistency.
- Place the solids back in the pan of sauce and take the pan off the heat.
- Add a knob of butter to a frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the baby onions (or shallots) until they become brown. Take them out and leave aside.
- Heat another knob of butter in the same pan. Fry the button mushrooms until browned, and then mix the baby onions and mushrooms into the beef stew.
- Begin making the dumplings by mixing the plain flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Place the suet in the bowl and add enough water to bind the mixture.
- Get your little ones to roll the dough between their hands to form small dumplings – they should be around the size of cherry tomatoes. You should end up with 16 dumplings.
- Heat lightly salted water in a large pan. Once it is simmering, add the dumplings and place a lid on the pan. Poach the dumplings for 15-20 minutes.
- Place the stew back on the stove and reheat.
- To serve, divide the stew between bowls. Top with the chopped parsley and dumplings.
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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.