Beef Casserole with cheesy dumplings
This is a different take on a standard casserole and is definitely a hit with the family.
You can choose to remove half the stew mixture, tip into a plastic container and leave to cool. Seal, then freeze for up to 3 months. To cook the frozen stew, defrost overnight in the fridge, put into a casserole and bring to a boil, Follow the steps to make additional cheesy dumplings to complete the recipe.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1.2kg shin of beef, fat removed, cut into 2cm cubes
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 400g whole shallots
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 250g chestnut mushrooms, halved if large
- 750ml red wine
- 500ml beef stock
- Bouquet garni made of 1 celery stick, small handful each of fresh thyme and flatleaf parsley and 2 fresh bay leaves, tied together
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- For the dumplings: 125g self-raising flour
- 50g butter, softened
- 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 25g mature Cheddar, grated
- Handful of fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
- Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large heavy-based casserole dish over a high heat. Season the beef cubes, then toss in flour and shake off the excess. Add half the beef to the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and set aside while you repeat with the rest of the beef. Put the shallots in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for 3-4 minutes. Drain, then refresh in cold water. Peel and trim their bases and halve.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan, then add the shallots and carrots. Season, then fry over a medium heat and stir for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, turn up the heat and add a small amount of water. Cover with a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes and shake the pan occasionally.
- Return the meat to the pan with the red wine, stock and bouquet garni. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2½ hours. Stir occasionally to stop it sticking. Stir in the mustard and cook over a medium-high heat, uncovered, for 15 minutes to thicken slightly.
- Remove half the stew, tip into a plastic container and leave to cool. Seal, then freeze for up to 3 months.
- While the stew cooks, make the dumplings. Mix half the quantities of flour, butter, mustard, cheese and parsley with some salt and black pepper and a splash of water until you get a soft dough. Roll into 8 small golf ball size balls, add to the top of the stew and cook for a final 10-15 minutes, covered with a lid. Serve and enjoy.
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