Traditional British Beef Stew and Suet Dumplings

No dish has ever appeared so perfect for a wintry weather's day than a hearty pork stew and dumplings. It has stored Britain and Ireland on its feet all through tough times and thru wintry weather storms. It usually brings a grin to any circle of relatives while served for dinner.

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound/450 gram thick cooking steak (cut into large chunks)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons brandy
1 cup/115 grams onion (roughly chopped)
1 cup/100 grams leeks (cleaned and finely sliced)
1 cup/170 grams carrots (roughly chopped)
1 1/2 pints/750 milliliters dark beef stock
4 ounces/115 grams self-rising flour
2 ounces/55 grams suet (shredded)
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons water (cold)

Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.

Traditional British Beef Stew and Suet Dumplings Ingredients

In a large bowl mix together the flour and the chunks of cooking steak. Make sure all the beef is covered in flour.

Flour covered beef cubes

In a large frying pan heat half the oil to hot but not smoking. Add half the floured steak pieces and brown all over. Remove the steak and place it into a Dutch oven or casserole dish. Add the remaining oil to the frying pan, heat again then add the remaining steak and brown all over. Again, add the steak to the dish.

Browning beef cubes

Turn the heat up high and add the brandy to the frying pan, stir well, scraping up all the meat juices on the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook this mixture taking care not to burn it until it becomes a sticky glaze.

Pan drippings

Add the onion, the leeks, and the carrots to the frying pan, stir them well to coat all the vegetables with the glaze, then tip them all into the dish.

Beef stew
Place the frying pan back onto the heat; stir in a third of the stock and bring to a boil, scraping all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Once all the bits are released, pour the stock into the casserole.

Frying pan with oil
Add the remaining stock, cover with a tight-fitting lid, then simmer gently on the stovetop or in a medium oven (350 F/175 C) for 2 hours. Check from time to time to make sure the stock isn't reducing too much. If it is, add a little boiling water. The meat and vegetables should always be covered by liquid. You can also make this recipe in a slow cooker if you have one.

Beef stew
Move on to the next steps for the dumplings.

Suet Dumplings
In a roomy bowl, mix the flour with the suet and a pinch of salt. Add 3 tablespoons of cold water and stir. If the dough is dry add more water until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough.

Flour dumpling in a bowl
Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape into round balls with lightly floured hands. Leave to one side while you roll the remaining dumplings.

Making suet dumplings
After the beef stew has cooked for 2 hours, remove the lid, check the seasoning and add salt or pepper to taste. Add the dumplings to the stew, laying them on the surface at even distances apart. Pop one in the middle as well if you have enough. Cover the dish again with the lid and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Traditional British Beef Stew and Suet Dumplings
Remove the lid and you will see the dumplings well-risen; if not, cook for a few minutes more.

Traditional British Beef Stew and Suet Dumplings
Serve hot into warm bowls.

Traditional British Beef Stew and Suet Dumplings