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Super stew and dumplings

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Prep time
20 mins

Cooking time
120 mins

Effort
More difficult

Serves
4

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 280g lean braising steak, cut into chunks
  • 450ml reduced-salt vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 250g closed-cup mushrooms, halved
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 50g reduced-fat spread
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper

1

Heat the vegetable oil in a large flameproof casserole dish or saucepan. Add the beef, a handful at a time, and cook over a high heat for about 2-3 minutes until sealed and browned.

Always brown the meat thoroughly to begin with (but don't burn), as this will give the stew a good flavour.

2

Pour the stock into the pan, then add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, bay leaf and mushrooms. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Cover and cook over a low heat for 1½ hours, checking the liquid level from time to time, and topping up with a little water if needed.

If you're using a casserole dish, you could transfer it to the oven and bake at Gas Mark 4/180°C/fan oven 160°C for 1½ hours, then add the dumplings and bake for a further 25-30 minutes.

3

To make the dumplings, sift the flour into a bowl and add the parsley and some black pepper. Add the reduced-fat spread to the flour, then rub in with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add just enough cold water (about 2 tbsp) to make a soft dough. Knead the dough lightly for a moment, then form into 12 small dumplings.

4

Add the dumplings to the stew, letting them sit on the surface. Cover and cook for another 25-30 minutes, until the dumplings are light and fluffy, then serve.

Be sure to serve the casserole with plenty of fresh or frozen vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, leeks or peas, to help towards your 5 A DAY.