Cook time: 3 hours
This is an easy and economical Guinness and beef stew – we love it. The dumplings are optional, but highly recommended.
3 fresh or dried bay leaves
500g diced stewing beef
2 sticks of celery
2 medium onions
1 heaped tbsp plain flour
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g self-raising flour
125g really cold butter
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 180ºC.
- Trim the ends off your celery and roughly chop the sticks. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel the carrots, slice length ways and roughly chop. Put a casserole pan on a medium heat. Put all the vegetables and the bay leaves into the pan with two lugs of olive oil and fry for 10 minutes.
- Add your meat and flour. Pour in the booze and tinned tomatoes. Give it a good stir, then season with a teaspoon of sea salt (less if using table salt) and a few grinds of pepper.
- Bring to the boil, put the lid on and either simmer slowly on your hob or cook in an oven for 3 hours. Remove the lid for the final half hour of simmering or cooking. When done, your meat should be tender and delicious.
- Remember to remove the bay leaves before serving, and taste it to see if it needs a bit more salt and pepper. You can eat you stew as it is, or you can add some lovely dumplings (below) to it.
- For your dumplings
- Preheat your oven to 190°C. Put your flour into a mixing bowl. Using a coarse grater, grate your cold butter into the flour. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Using your fingers, gently rub the butter into the flour until it begins to resemble breadcrumbs. Add a splash of cold water to help bind it into a dough.
- Divide the dough into 12 pieces and gently roll each into a round dumpling. Place the dumplings on top of your fully cooked stew and press down lightly so that they're half submerged. Cook in the oven or on the hob over a medium heat with the lid on for 30 minutes.