Italian style beef stew with cheesy basil dumplings

To get the dinner on in the morning and forget about it until 30 minutes before serving has to be the perfect way to cook. Especially when the flavour intensifies and everything benefits from the long slow cooking it gets. And to add to that, all the messy work is done and cleaned up so by dinner time all you’re left with is one pot. For all the fine dining in the world, sometimes you really can’t beat a good old homemade one pot wonder!
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Italian style beef stew with cheesy dumplings
1600g stewing beef at room temp.
1 onion finely diced
1 stick of celery finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lt. Beef stock
3 carrots chopped small
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of tomato purée
2 bay leaves
2tsp of dried basil
Small bunch of fresh thyme
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups of fusilli pasta
1 tin of cannelini beans

Turn on your slow cooker (crock pot) to auto. Pour a few glugs of olive oil into a large frying pan and gently sweat the onions and celery for around 5 minutes. Scrape these into the slow cooker, put the frying pan back on the heat and add some more olive oil. When it’s really hot fry off one third of your meat. When it’s nicely browned all over, tip into the slow cooker, doing the same until all the meat is browned. Make up your beef stock and add along with the carrots, tomatoes, purée, herbs, and pepper. Put the lid on and let the slow cooker do its thing all day. An hour before dinner turn the heat up to high. 30 minutes before dinner, make your dumplings and add them. If the stew is looking at all dry add more water. The pasta will suck up plenty of sauce. Then 15-20 minutes before add the pasta and beans mixing in carefully with out disturbing your dumplings too much.(or you could carefully remove dumplings, mix in the the pasta and beans before placing them back on top.)
cheesy basil dumplings
110g self raising flour
50g Parmesan
55g shredded suet
Handful of fresh basil leaves

With a pestle and mortar crush the basil leaves along with a pinch of salt. Mix the flour, Parmesan and suet together. Add the crushed basil leaves along with enough cold water to bring it all tougher and make a stiff dough. Don’t handle too much. Shape into 8 dumplings. Sit them on top of the stew, replace the lid and cook for 25 minutes. I like to serve with rustic garlic bread made with ciabatta. Yum.
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2 thoughts on “Italian style beef stew with cheesy basil dumplings

  1. Pingback: Getting ready for the busy Christmas rundown with Beef Stew and Dumplings | Domesticated Dad

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