Beef Stew and dumplings - as its miserable and cold outside
Stewing steak and a stew pack - dinner for four for less than £4
This stew is also know as a Brown Stew and is delicious but dont underestimate how long it takes to cook. Be clever whilst the oven is on and make some bread or a cake.
One 500g pack of stewing steak is about £2.50, a stew pack of vegetables is about £1.50, add some mixed dried herbs, some stock and seasoning, three hours in the oven and serve with roast potatoes (well why not - the oven is on and we are having a root vegetable feast - why spoil it with something green?)
Using a little oil, brown the meat and transfer to a deep casserole dish.
Peel and slice three to four onions and brown off in the oil left from cooking the meat. Transfer the onions to the casserole dish.
Peel and thickly chop the rest of the vegetables in the stew pack (small swede, large parsnip and six or so carrots). Again brown on all sides in the pan, adding a little oil or butter if necessary. Transfer to the dish with the rest of the ingredients.
Make up 1ltr of vegetable stock. Combine 1 1/2tbsp of cornflour with a little cold water.
Add a nob of butter to the pan and then add the cornflour and stock, bring to the boil and then transfer to the dish with the rest of the ingredients.
Season the dish with a little salt, freshly ground black pepper, a fresh bay leaf, and half a teaspoon of cinnamon (optional).
When you are ready to finish the dish, preheat the oven to 170C and then cook for three hours.
Dumplings go in to the dish for the last thirty minutes, returning to the oven without the lid.
The recipe, for those of you who dont cheat and buy a 'mix' from Home Bargains for 39p, is ...............
put 125g of plain flour in a bowl with 1 tsp baking powder and 60g of shredded suet. Add 1 tbsp of fresh or ½ tbsp of dried parsley and bring together with a little water (about five tablespoons) to make a soft dough. Form into eight small balls.