Beef & Ale Stew with Gluten-Free Dumplings - Recipe
A Hearty Stew with Gluten-free Dumplings
A comforting casserole of beef with herby dumplings
Slow cooking or casseroling is ideal for tenderising cheaper cuts of meat. What could be better on a miserable weekend or dark evening than settling down to a rich, meaty stew with fluffy dumplings to soak up that flavoursome gravy!
2) Heat half the oil in a large hob-to-oven casserole dish or alternatively use a deep non-stick frying pan. In order to allow the beef to brown properly you will need to add the beef in batches so that there is a just a single layer cooking at a time. Have a clean bowl handy in which to transfer each batch of cooked meat. Make sure you keep the heat hot throughout as you don't want the meat to boil. Optional: To help the browning process you can also add a few small knobs of butter whilst frying.
3) Once each batch is nicely browned keep the bowl to one side. Reduce the heat in the pan. Roughly chop the celery, carrots and onions and add into the casserole dish/frying pan with the remainder of the oil. Stir.
4) Slice the garlic cloves and add to the pan. Stir, allowing all the vegtables to brown slightly, whilst scraping up the brown bits from the base of the pan.
5) Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the Tomato Powder and Gluten-Free Plain Flour over the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and turn the vegetables to coat them thoroughly with the dry mix.
6) Return the meat to your frying pan*/casserole dish and pour over the ale, then the beef stock. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes. (*You may need to transfer the vegetable mix into a deep saucepan as the meat and liquids probably won't all fit into a normal sautee frying pan!)
7) Note: if you have been using a frying pan up until this point (we didn't have a hob
-to-oven casserole dish!) transfer the mixutre into your casserole dish. Add the bay leaves and the thyme and put the lid on. Place in the middle of the oven for 2½ - 3 hours.
Check halfway through. You will be adding the dumplings towards the end of the cooking
8) Now start making the dumplings! Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add knobs of the margarine/butter into the flour.
9) Then with the tips of your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mix until you have rough breadcrumbs. Add the vinegar and knead into a ball. If your mix is a little dry then use some water or milk to bring the dough together into a large ball. Although, we found that this wasn't necessary as the butter provided enough moisture to bring the dough together nicely!
10) Divide the dough ball into 6 to 8 pieces and roll into even balls between both hands. Place each ball onto a lightly floured plate or board.
11) Gently place each dumpling onto the surface of the casserole around 20-25 minutes or
so before the end of the cooking time. Remember to place the lid back onto your casserole dish
after adding the dumplings.
12) Remove from the oven once the tops of the dumplings are golden brown. Serve in deep
bowls. Once cooled, any leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for around 1-2 days.
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