The main stew

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 800g diced beef - brisket is a good choice
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 200g button mushrooms (halved if large)
  • 2 tbsp wholemeal plain flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml beef or chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme or rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped

For the dumplings

  • 125g self-raising wholemeal flour
  • Splash of skimmed milk
  • 60g vegetable suet
  • 2 sprigs of thyme or rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped 

To serve - optional

  • 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped


  1. 1

    Season the flour with a good pinch of salt and pepper, then toss the beef in the seasoned flour to coat

  2. 2

    Cook the beef in batches in 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan over high heat, turning occasionally, for 5-10 minutes or until brown all over. Transfer to a slow cooker

  3. 3

    Cook the vegetables, garlic and mushrooms in the remaining oil in the pan over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until vegetables begin to brown. Stir in the herbs, tomato purée and chopped tomato and cook for a couple of minutes. Add to the beef in the slow cooker

  4. 4

    Pour in the stock and cook for 4 hours on high (or 6 hours on low), until the meat is very tender

  5. 5

    To make the dumplings, combine all the flour, suet and herbs in a bowl and add enough milk to just bring it together. Season with salt and pepper. Roll into 6-8 small balls

  6. 6

    Stir the stew, remove the bay leaves and season to taste

  7. 7

    Evenly top the surface of the stew with the dumplings. Cover and cook for an additional hour with the lid on

  8. 8

    Serve topped with the combined parsley and garlic if using. 

Nutritional Details

Each serving provides
  • Energy 3065kj 732kcal 37%
  • Fat 33.0g 47%
  • Saturates 14.0g 70%
  • Sugars 14.0g 16%
  • Salt 0.71g 12%

% of the Reference Intakes

Typical values per 100g: Energy 456kj/109kcal

Each serving provides

51.0g carbohydrate 9.3g fibre 52.0g protein

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