Recipe: Winter Beef Stew & Dumplings

There’s nothing like a hearty, warm stew in the winter and this beef stew is absolutely delicious. I love how thick the stew is and the sweetness of the parsnips. This stew, as with most stews and casseroles, is even better when it’s a day old!

It takes quite a while to prep and cook so you need to get organised and plan ahead but it’s so worth it. All my family liked it, even my fussy son – who also realised he enjoyed a dumpling or two as well!

The recipe serves 2-3 adults, but is perfect for a family of four like us.

Winter Beef Stew and Dumplings


500g braising steak, cut into bite-sized chunks 
2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with pepper and a little salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
450g carrotts, cut into chunks
2 large parsnips, cut into chunks
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp sundried tomato paste
300ml red wine (or stock)
200ml vegetable stock

For the dumplings:
150g self-raising flour
75g light vegetable suet
1/2 tsp salt
handful chopped fresh parsley


Heat the oven to to 150c/gas mark 2. 

Toss the beef in the seasoned flour and heat the oil in a large casserole dish.  Fry the beef over a high heat until browned all over. You can do this in batches if you find it easier. Remove from the casserole dish and set to one side.

Add 2 tbsp water and the chopped onion to the pan. Stir well over a medium heat, scraping any crusty bits up from the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat and fry the onions gently for around 10 minutes, until softened.

Add the carrots, parsnips and bay leaf, then fry for 2 mins more. Return the beef to the pan, stir in the tomato paste, wine and stock then bring to the boil. Cover and cook in the oven for round 1&1/2 hours until the meat is tender.

For the dumplings, mix the flour, suet, salt, parsley and enough water in a large mixing bowl to make a soft dough. Roughly shape into 8 balls, dropping them into the stew as you go. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, until they’ve puffed up.

I served this with giant Yorkshire puddings, mashed potatoes and peas for an alternative Sunday lunch and it was yum!

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