The cold nights are now in full swing which means one thing, hearty winter grub. This Beef and Guinness stew has an abundance of flavour, served with delicious bacon dumplings, mash and cabbage.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
1kg Beef Skirt, cut into small chunks
200g pearl onions or shallots
4 carrots, cut to the same size as the onions or shallots
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 celery sticks, cut into small chunks
500ml beef or chicken stock
3 tbsp plain flour
1 large thyme sprig
4 star anise
Buttered cabbage and mash, to serve
For the dumplings
1 egg yolk
125g self-raising flour
1/2 tbsp oil
1 tsp thyme leaves
60g beef suet
Small pack parsley
6 slices of smoked back bacon
1. The first step is to make the dumplings. Fry the bacon until crisp in a large casserole dish. Stir in the thyme leaves, then put into a bowl with the bacon and leave to cool. Add the flour and suet to the bacon and thyme, then stir together. Make a well in the middle of the mix and add the egg yolk, parsley, 1/2 tsp pepper and 2 tbsp of cold water. Mix into the dough, keep adding water until you have a firm but pliable dough. Separate the mixture into eight balls and leave until needed.
2. Heat your oven to 160C. Heat the oil in the same casserole dish as you cooked the bacon in. Cook the meat until brown then set aside. Cook your onions (or shallots), carrots and celery, then stir in the flour. Add the meat back into the dish and stir everything together. Pour in the stock and Guinness. Season, adding the thyme and star anise and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and then cook for around 2 hours until the meat is tender.
3. Take the stew from the oven and place the dumplings on top. Put the lid back on and put back in the oven for 20 minutes, then cook on the hob for a final 10 minutes to brown the dumplings. Serve and enjoy.