Comfort food, you can’t beat it in the winter. Sitting in front of the fire while tucking into something hearty and warming, makes you feel all cosy and fussy inside.
You can chuck any vegetables in here that you like, its a great way to use up any bits and bobs lying around. You can also cook the casserole in the slow cooker if you wish and then transfer to an ovenproof dish for the last 30 minutes when cooking the dumplings.
Please note different cheeses may give different end results to the dumplings.
Some recommended items from our kitchen for this dish…
- Double sided dry and liquid measuring spoons for times when you need to measure both liquid and dry ingredients.
- A decent set of knives for chopping, with a knife sharpener which is always handy.
- Garlic crusher, we have had this one for a good while, easy to clean and can crush multiple cloves at once saving time.
- Non stick saucepans.
- Casserole dishes.
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Beef Casserole with Cheese Dumplings
Serves 4 – 1 HexA plus 5 syns per portion
- 800g diced stewing steak, fat removed
- 4 rashers bacon, chopped and fat removed
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 small swede, peeled and cubed
- 4 large carrots, chopped
- 1 large red onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 leek, sliced
- 2 parsnips, chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons mixed herbs
- 2 red wine stock pots
- 3 tablespoons bisto gravy powder – 4.5 syns
- 100g self-raising flour – 16 syns
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 80g light mature cheddar cheese – 2 x HexA or 12 syns
- 110g Primula with chives – 2 x HexA or 12 syns
- 1 teaspoon fresh or dried chives
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- In a pan gently fry the steak until sealed and lightly browned.
- Add the beef to a large casserole dish along with all the vegetables and the bacon.
- In the pan you just used for the steak add the stock pots with a little boiling water to deglaze the pan and use a whisk to combine so there is no lumps left.
- In a jug mix the bisto powder with a little cold water to make a paste and then make up to 2 pints of water, add this to the red wine mixture and keep whisking on a high heat until it thickens, (if you only have a small pan transfer it all to a saucepan and heat in there instead).
- Pour the gravy over the steak and vegetables and add all remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
- Give it all a stir and cover with a lid or tin foil and place in the oven for 2 hours.
- About 5 minutes before the 2 hrs are up prepare the dumplings.
- Put the self-raising flour, grated cheese, chives and baking powder in a bowl and give a little stir, add the primula and mix, then add cold water 1 tbsp at a time to bring it all together to a dough. It will be quite sticky (roughly 3 tablespoons of water is all that should be needed)
- Remove the casserole from the oven and spoon the dumpling mixture on top in 4 even sized portions.
- Return to the oven with the lid off and bake for 30 minutes until the dumplings are golden and firm in the middle.
- Serve immediately with extra vegetables on the side.