Beef stew with horseradish and parsley dumplings

Comfort food at its very best this hearty stew is great to have at the weekend when you’ve got time to let it cook slowly. It’s a great dish to share with friends too and is best served with a tasty Merlot.

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Makes enough for 4

For the stew:

500g diced beef (you can use the cheaper stuff as you’re cooking it for so long)

1 tablespoon plain flour

1 tablespoon tomato puree

2 beef stock cubes

4 tablespoon Henderson’s Relish/Worstershire sauce

1 & 1/2 pint boiling water

2 teaspoon sugar

2 onions (diced)

1 large carrot (chopped)

3 cloves garlic (smooshed)

Salt & pepper

For the dumplings:

220g self-raising flour (although I’ve used plain a couple of times and it didn’t make *too* much difference)

110g vegetable suet

Salt

1 egg (medium)

4 tablespoon chopped parsley

3 tablespoon hot horseradish

Cold water

Cook the beef in a deep casserole dish until nicely browned. You will need to use just a few teaspoons of vegetable oil. Add the flour and mix well.

Add the tomatoe puree, Henderson’s Relish, stock cubes, water and sugar. Add the onion, garlic and carrot and season well with salt and pepper. Wait until the mixture is lightly bubbling and then pop the lid on your casserole dish and put it in the oven for 1 & 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile make your dumplings. Place your flour, salt, suet, parsley and horseradish with the egg and a little cold water in a bowl. Mix well with your hands until it is soft and a bit sticky – not sloppy! If it’s too sticky and solid you can add a bit more water.

Break in to about 8 pieces, roll in to rough balls and place on top of your stew. Return your casserole dish to the oven without the lid for another half an hour. I like to then switch to the grill setting for another 5-10 minutes, just to make the dumplings crisp a bit.

Serve on its own or with mashed potato and greens.

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Freelance writer, eater, drinker and cook living in London.

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