SERVES 6-8 | 10 MINUTES PREP | 4 HOURS 15 MINUTES COOKING 

  • 1kg braising steak (for alternative cheap cuts such as oxtail and shin - cook these for an hour less than the time recommended in this recipe) 
  • 6 rashers streaked smoky bacon. 
  • 2 white onions, chunky diced
  • 3 large carrots, chunky diced
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 bunch thyme, pick the leaves 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp plain flour 
  • 2 glasses of red wine
  • 2 litres beef stock
  • 16 new potatoes
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 100g suet
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 150°C.

Pop a large stock pot on the hob on a high heat. Add a generous drizzle of oil and sear your beef. Do it in batches so you get a nice colour on the beef rather than boiling it. You don't need to cook it through. Season generously. Remove and pop aside. 

Fry off your bacon and add your onion and carrots, softening them slightly and giving them a nice bit of colour. Add your herbs and garlic and pop your beef back into the pan. Sprinkle over your flour which will help thicken the sauce. 

Keep the heat up nice and high and add in your red wine. The wine will deglaze all of those beautiful bits on the bottom of the pan. Allow to reduce. Follow with enough beef stock to cover your meat and veg. 

Loosely cover and pop in the oven for a total of 4 hours 15 minutes.

At 3 hours, add in your new potatoes. Keep covered. 

Prepare your dumplings. Bring together 200g self-raising flour, 100g suet, a generous pinch of salt and 2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped with 10 tbsp water. 

At 3 hours 45 minutes, add your dumpling. They should sit comfortably on the top of your stew, half submerged. Uncover your stew for it's final 45 minutes. 

And there you have it! A little TLC goes a long way. 

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