Friday, October 18, 2013

Lamb stew with lovely dumplings

This entire recipe should be called lovely. Not just the dumplings. It was easy to put together and besides some chopping, pouring and shaping my stove did all the cooking.  I only changed the herb they suggested from rosemary to thyme. Because well I hate rosemary. I much prefer thyme. I find it a milder herb.

Lamb stew with lovely dumplings

Lamb stew

adapted from Jamie's Home Cooking

serves 6

  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • olive oil
  • 500g diced stewing lamb, approximately 2cm cubes
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • 500ml lamb stock or vegetable stock, preferably organic or red wine*
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
This is a good recipe for a basic stew. You’re going to love it because it's so simple and gives consistently good results. It’s delicious as a simple stew served with mash and greens, or you could go on to add a topping to it – check out the accompanying recipes.

To prepare your stew

• If using the oven to cook your stew, preheat it to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4
• Trim the ends off your celery and roughly chop the sticks
• Peel and roughly chop the onions
• Peel the carrots, slice lengthways and roughly chop
• Pick and roughly chop the rosemary leaves, discard the stalks 

To cook your stew

• Put a casserole pan on a medium heat
• Put all the vegetables and rosemary leaves into the pan with 2 lugs of olive oil and fry for 10 minutes
Add your meat and flour
Pour in the stock or red wine and tinned tomatoes 
• Give it a good stir, then season with a teaspoon of sea salt (less if using table salt) and a few grinds of pepper
Bring to the boil, put the lid on and either simmer slowly on your hob or cook in an oven for 2½ hours  
• Remove the lid for the final half hour of simmering or cooking and add a splash of water if it looks a bit dry
• When done, your meat should be tender and delicious
• Remember to taste it before serving to see if it needs a bit more salt and pepper

If you’re cooking at home then you might want to try using red wine instead of stock – this will give your stew a much richer colour, just like in the pictures

serves 6

  • For your stew recipe see Lamb stew.
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 100g really cold butter
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Once you’ve made your basic lamb stew, you can take it in a different direction by adding a simple topping. Dumplings are one of those things that should be on everyone’s radar come winter time. They’re so comforting and really easy to make – give them a try.

To make and cook your dumplings

• Preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5
• Put your flour into a mixing bowl
• Using a coarse grater, grate your cold butter into the flour
• Add a pinch of salt and pepper
• Using your fingers, gently rub the butter into the flour until it begins to resemble  breadcrumbs
• Add a splash of cold water to help bind it into a dough

• Divide the dough into 12 pieces and gently roll each into a round dumpling
• The dumplings will suck up quite a bit of moisture so if your stew looks dry – add a cup    of boiling water and give it a good stir
• Place the dumplings on top of your fully cooked stew and press down lightly so that they’re half submerged
• Cook in the oven or on the hob over a medium heat with the lid on for 30 minutes

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