Ive had a sad couple of days as I had to attend the funeral of a beautiful friend who was taken far to soon and far to young but it was a very fitting service with the soundtrack to 'Back To The Future' playing as we entered the church which could not have been more perfect for him. He was such a huge character with an amazing Mohawk, an amazing laugh and more friends than anyone I know because he genuinely cared about people and was interested in what they had to say no matter who they were.
people had to sit on the floor of the church and a big crowd gathered outside the doors which is testament to the man he was.
After a hugely emotionally draining day followed by a 10 hour shift at work starting at 5am the next day I needed something warm and comforting and what's more warm and comforting than stew and dumplings? I have used Jamie Oliver's recipe for the dumplings.
Beef and Red wine Stew with Cheese and Chive Dumplings
For the Stew you will need:
400 Grams Stewing steak
Glass of Red Wine
2 large Carrots
1 Leek shredded discarding the green end
Knob of butter
Salt and Pepper
170 Grams of Flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cold butter, cut into small cubes
mature cheddar, grated
1 small bunch of chives, chopped
Pinch of salt
60ml of milk
Cover the steak in the seasoned flour and brown off in a pan in the butter and a dash of oil. Remove from the pot once browned and add the chopped onion, leeks and carrots and fry for around five minutes before putting the steak back in. Next add the glass of red and stock and leave to simmer for around three hours on top of the stove or you can put in the oven covered. I like adding shredded leeks to my stew for the gorgeous flavour and the texture it gives to the stew.
For the dumplings mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and butter. Rub the mixture between your fingers like when you make a crumble until it looks a bit like large breadcrumbs.
Add the grated cheese and the chives and mix together with a fork before Pouring in the milk bit by bit. You may need extra milk but just make sure your mixture doesn't get to wet.
Divide the mixture in to balls and plop on top of the stew around half an hour before the three hour cooking time is up.
They seriously swell up and I had some mixture left over!
I finished my stew under the grill so the dumplings would brown a bit on top.
I served mine with mash and peas and it was lovely and much needed, sorry for the lack of stew photo's I just concentrated on the dumplings more!