Sunday, 30 October 2011

Beef and Guinness Casserole with Sage Dumplings

25 grams butter
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced,
1 stick celery, diced
Handful thyme leaves, chopped
Few tbps flour
Olive oil
1 kg beef shin or other stewing beef, cut into 3cm pieces
200 grams bacon or pancetta, diced
500 ml Guinness or other stout
500 ml beef stock
Worcestershire Sauce, to taste
250 grams chestnut mushrooms, sliced

For the dumplings:
175 grams self raising flour
80 grams suet
Pinch salt
5 sage leaves, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. In a casserole, slowly cook the onion, carrot and celery over a medium-low heat in the butter on the hob. While the vegetables are doing their thing, heat a tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan and spread the flour out on a plate with some seasoning. Toss the beef shin in the flour and when the pan is good and hot, brown the pieces in batches, transferring to a bowl or similar as you go. You may need to add some extra oil. Cook the bacon in the same pan until the fat starts to run, and put with the beef. Return your attention to the vegetables by stirring in the thyme leaves. Cook for about half a minute. Put the meats into the casserole along with the Guinness and the stock. Season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire Sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover and place in the oven. Now leave it to cook for at least 2 hours until the meat is very tender.

At this stage you can let it cool and continue when you want to eat it later. Otherwise, about half an hour before you want to eat, cook the mushrooms in a little butter until the juices start to run. Add them to the casserole. Sift together the salt and flour in a mixing bowl, then stir in the suet and chopped sage. Mix with enough water to make a firmish dough, and shape into 6 balls. Place them on top of the stew, and cook for another 25 minutes with the lid off until the dumplings are golden on top. Serve with bread and butter, or creamy mashed potato.

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