± 1.2 kg stewing beef
2 leeks, washed & sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled & sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1L beef stock
4 shallots, peeled & halved
500g white button mushrooms, quartered
100g self raising flour
50g butter, cold and cubed
Pinch sea salt
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
± 60ml cold water
Olive oil, for cooking
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the stew:
Preheat oven to 160˚C.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large heavy-based pot over a medium heat.
Place the beef in a bowl, toss with the flour and season well with salt and pepper.
Add the seasoned meat to the hot oil and brown all over.
Remove and set aside.
Heat another drizzle of oil in the same pot.
Add the leeks, carrots, celery and herbs. Sauté.
Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute.
Add the balsamic and stock, making sure to scrape any stuck brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
Return the browned beef to the pot along with the shallots.
Bring to a simmer, cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours until the meat is fall apart tender.
When the stew is almost done cooking, make the dumplings:
Place the flour, butter and salt into a bowl.
Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Add the chopped parsley and mix well.
Add 2-3 Tbsp water at a time and knead into a soft dough.
Shape the dough into small balls.
Remove stew from the oven.
Turn heat up to 180˚C, with the fan on.
Stir the mushrooms into the stew.
Cover the surface of the stew with the little dumplings, spacing them evenly all over.
Cover with the pot lid and return to the oven for 15 minutes.
Carefully remove the lid and bake for a further 15 minutes until the dumplings are golden.
Scoop the stew into bowls, dividing up the dumplings and enjoy!