Makes a hearty meal for 4
for the stew:
1kg braising steak, cut into 4cm cubes
2x 440ml cans Guinness
large handful of fresh thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
6 shallots, peeled & quartered
3 medium carrots, cut into thick rounds
1/2 celeriac, cubed
1 clove garlic
1 heaped tablespoon tomato puree
2 tablespoons flour
600ml beef stock
salt & pepper
for the dumplings:
knob of butter
1 small onion, finely diced
100g self raising flour
60g shredded beef suet
Marinate the beef in the Guinness with the thyme and bay leaves for 24 hours.
The following day, drain the Guinness and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Heat the butter and oil in a large ovenproof casserole, season the meat and brown it on all sides,with the thyme. Do this in two batches to give the meat room in the pan.
Add the shallots, carrots and celeriac and the first batch of meat. Cook gently with the lid on for about 15 minutes.
Stir in the garlic & tomato puree and cook for a further 5 minutes. Sprinkle over the flour and stir through.
Now pour over the reserved Guinness marinade. Let it cook gently until reduced by a quarter, scraping all the bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add the beef stock and 500ml of water and bring to a simmer. Put the casserole in the oven for around 1 1/2 hours with the lid on.
Meanwhile, make the dumplings.
Fry the onions in a knob of butter with some thyme until softened. Season, and mix with the breadcrumbs, flour and suet.
Bind the mixture with a little water to make a dough. Divide into 8 and roll into balls.
After the initial cooking time, check the seasoning, add the dumplings to the stew and cook for a further 30 - 40 minutes, spooning some of the gravy over the dumplings once or twice.
There you have it! A complete meal in a bowl.