Serves 6 normal people, 4 in our household – or just my husband & older son if they dish it up themselves!
- 4 pounds of beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 large finely chopped onion
- 3 sticks of celery
- 6 medium carrots
- 3 medium rutabagas, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 3garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 litres of beef broth
- 3 tablespoons minced chives
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup of shredded suet
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 2 tsp grain mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- Preheat your oven to 325°F.
- Pat the beef dry and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat.
- Working in batches (if you put it all in at once it will steam), cook beef until brown, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer meat and any ‘brown bits’ to a bowl.
- Add the onions, celery, garlic, thyme and bay leaf to the same pot and cover and cook until onions are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
- Return the beef and any accumulated juices to the pot.
- Add carrots and rutabagas.
- Cover the stew with the beef broth and bring to a simmer.
- Transfer the pot to the oven and bake for approximately 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Sift the flour, mustard powder and a little salt together into a large bowl.
- Add the suet and the chives and a good seasoning of freshly milled black pepper.
- In a separate bowl mix the grain mustard with 3 tablespoons of cold water.
- Sprinkle the wet mix over the dry ingredients
- Bring the mixture together to a soft dough, adding a little more water if you need it.
- Roll the dough into a sausage shape and cut into 8 equal (roughly) pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball in the palms of your hands.
- Drop them into the stew and then return it to the highest shelf of the oven, this time without a lid, and cook for another 25-30 minutes or until the dumplings are golden brown and crusty.