Earlier this week, I blogged about my Meal Plan
for the week and so decided to share my recipe for tonight’s dinner. This dish is a real winter warmer and such a comforting recipe for a cold evening. Unfortunately, O won’t touch it as he’s a bit picky with meat, but I’m sure he’ll love it when he’s older.
This is a meal for the slow cooker. Many slow cooker recipes require some amount of cooking prior to hitting the slow cooker pot. As I’m often pushed for time and prepare these recipes in the morning before heading out to work, I don’t do this. What’s the point in a slow cooker if you’ve got to cook something before using it!?
Slow Cooked Beef and Winter Vegetable Stew
served with homemade Dumplings and Creamy Mash
Ingredients for the Stew
1 pack of Diced Beef
1 pack of fresh Stew Vegetables – 1 onion, 1 parsnip, 1 small swede and 3 carrots
Handful of Mushrooms
2 Beef stock cubes
2 heaped dap Beef Gravy Granules
2 tsp mixed herbs
Ingredients for the Mash
A handful of Maris Piper potatoes
Splash of Milk
1 dsp Unsalted Butter
Ingredients for the Dumplings
100g Self-Raising Flour
Pinch of Salt
Cold water (around 5 tbsp, enough to make a firm but pliable dough)
Peel and dice the onion, peel and slice the carrots and parsnip and these to the pot. Peel and dice the swede and add to the pot. Cut the mushrooms into quarters and add to the pot. Open the packet of diced beef and add the beef and mixed herbs to the pot.
Then stick the kettle on to boil. Add the stock cubes and gravy granules to a jug and mix with boiling water. Make just enough liquid to cover the contents of the slow cooker pot. Put the lid on and leave it to cook on Low for 8-10 hours.
Yes, it’s that easy.
When you’re home from a long day, or about ready to serve up, it’s time to make your mash and dumplings.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (fan) and mix the ingredients for the dumplings together. Now, I love dumplings so double up the recipe as I like them big. Roll the mixture into balls with floured hands. Place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden.
Most people like their dumplings to cook in the stew, but this is the way my mum alway did dumplings and I love them. They add another texture to the dish, rather than having a big bowl full of soft food.
Peel and chop your potatoes into small cubes. The smaller the cube, the quicker to cook. Boil until soft and drain. Run the boiled potatoes through a potato ricer to get the smoothest mashed potatoes. Add a splash of milk and a good chunk of butter and stir in with a wooden spoon.
And you’re ready to serve!
NB: If you don’t have a potato ricer, I highly recommend them. They make the bestest mash in the world. But don’t worry if you don’t have one, a traditional masher does the trick.