Monday, November 29, 2010

Stew with Perfect Dumplings

I have decided to update this blog to include a recipe for a simple stew as well :)  Stews are brilliant because they are very easy to whip up and you can use whatever you have around.  They are also great for when you have skipped a lot of vegetables that you want to use up quickly!

The stew

You will need:

Lots of vegetables! - Potatoes, carrots, leeks, swede, parsnips, courgette, onion.. whatever you have
Tinned good - Butter beans, peas, sweetcorn... etc
Meat - chicken or turkey is good.  You can use left overs, just cut into small bite sized bits, or alternatively cook up the meat you prefer first in the oven, chop up and add to stew

50-100g Pearl Barley (if you fancy it)
Stock cube
Seasoning - mixed herbs, black pepper, sage, thyme.. etc


1. Chop up the onions and leeks and fry in some butter in a big saucepan

2. Chop up all the veg, and meat if using, add to pan and fill with water until all veg is covered.

3. Add the stock cube and seasoning, bring to boil then leave to simmer for an hour or so, stirring occasionally

4. Dont forget to add the dumplings about 20mins before its done :)


Ever wondered how to make the perfect fluffy, squishy dumplings to accompany a stew? Well its very simple and just requires one secret ingredient - Vegetable Suet. It might not be something you have in your store cupboard, but its very cheap and a box will last you ages so its well worth it! Also, as the suet is vegan, dumplings make an excellent way of adding something extra to a vegetarian stew - but its extra wicked in meat stews too :)

All you will need:

100g Self Raising Flour (or plain flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder :)
50g Vegetable suet
Black Pepper and herbs (sage is a good one for this)


1. Mix the flour and suet together in a bowl and season well

2. Slowly add a table spoon of cold water at a time and still until it becomes a firm dough.

(remember you can always add more but you cant take water out! It doesn't need much so go slowly!)

3. Put on a floured surface and lightly roll out (or just pat out with your hands :)

4. Cut into 8 - 12 balls and roll in flour. Remember they will expand when cooking so make them fairly small

5. Place dumplings on top of your stew and cook for 20minutes or so until expanded and fluffy

6. Enjoy!

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