Author Jean Morrison
Beef, Beer and Dumplings
I've always loved dumplings. Our daughter Hayley would always call them ducklings when she was tiny. In fact, at one stage she must have really thought they were ducklings because she used to get a bit upset at the mention of the word dumplings. I often put different herbs in the dumplings. Garlic is yummy in them too. I use a large casserole pot with a lid that is suitable for use on top of the stove as well as being safe for the oven. If you don't have one of these just cook it all in a big stew pan on top of your stove but reduce the cooking time slightly.
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Quantity: serves 4
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2 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
600 gm diced lean beef
2 onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 red capsicum cut into 1.5 cm squares
3 sticks celery chopped
375 ml bottle of beer
1 cup good beef stock
Extra salt and pepper, if needed
1 cup self raising flour
1 teaspoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Combine flour, salt and pepper in a bowl. Place the beef into the bowl and coat all pieces evenly. Put one tablespoon oil in the casserole pot and heat gently on the stove top. Cook half the floured meat in the oil until the pieces are sealed and turning golden brown. Remove to a plate and keep warm whilst the second half is browned in the remaining tablespoon oil.
Return all the meat to the pan. Add the vegetables, beer and stock. Stir to distribute evenly. Bring to the boil stirring frequently.
Place the lid on the casserole pot and put it into the oven for about an hour.
At this point taste to see if more salt or pepper should be added.
Place the dumplings into the hot casserole ensuring a little of the gravy is spooned over each one. Cover the pot with the lid and return it to the oven for about 25 minutes by which time the dumplings will have puffed up.
Dumplings: Place flour, butter, salt and thyme in a bowl and, with your finger tips, rub the butter into the dry ingredients to distribute evenly. Pour in the milk and mix together to a sticky dough. With wetted fingers form the dough into 12 dumplings.
Feel free to use whatever herbs and spices you prefer in the dumplings. Serve your Beef, Beer and Dumplings with a green vege and heaps of crusty bread to mop up the juices.
Carrots are native to Afghanistan. They used to have a yellow flesh and a purple exterior. Carrots were first grown as a medicine and not a food. Just one carrot supplies enough vitamin A for an entire day. In fact, they have the highest Vitamin A content of any vegetable. Carrots have high levels of the anti-oxidant beta carotene which is reputed to help fight cancer and may reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men.
Celery was once grown primarily for medicinal reasons, particularly by the Chinese. It has been prominent in Northern European cuisine since the 16th century. It is said that it takes more calories to eat and digest celery than there is in the celery. It is related to carrots, parsley and parsnips. Celery is high in vitamin C and potassium.
Thyme is a herb native to southern Europe. It can be used in many savoury dishes. Thyme is popular in French seafood dishes and in Italian tomato dishes.
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