Beef & Guinness Stew with Dumplings

St. Patrick's Day is approaching and it's a guarantee that Irish food will be celebrated worldwide. I think the main perception of typical Irish dining, from those who haven't travelled here, would consist of big bowls of stew with accompanying pints of Guinness. It probably wouldn't be an everyday dinner for most of us, but not a bad dining option all the same. I love nothing better than a tasty stew on a cold, blustery day and this is one of my favourite combinations. I have fond memories of devouring bowlfuls of stew as a young child and there were always little nuggets of gold, in the form of dumplings, which I totally relished. The dumplings my mother made were always very small, which seemed just perfect as a child as each spoonful of stew would carry one or two of these. I generally make dumplings a little larger and my own children also love them. Buried within the flavoursome rich and salty stew they add a wonderful contrasting texture of soft and fluffy. Served with a good helping of creamy mashed potatoes this Beef & Guinness Stew with Dumplings would be welcomed at any occasion but seems especially appropriate for St. Patrick's Day. 

Beef & Guinness Stew with Dumplings

1 kg stewing beef, diced
2tbsp plain flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2tbsp olive oil
180g streaky bacon, chopped
2 onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
5 carrots, roughly chopped
2tbsp tomato puree
500ml Guinness
300ml beef stock 
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh oregano
250g self-raising flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
125g butter, cold-straight from the fridge
1 tbsp cold water

To Serve:
Creamy Mashed Potatoes

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/fan180C/gas mark 6.
2. Toss the beef in some seasoned flour.
3. Heat half of the oil in a large, oven proof saucepan or casserole dish and cook the beef in batches. Leaving to one side, in a dish.
4. Heat a little more oil in the saucepan and add the bacon, onion and garlic. Cook for five mins until golden then add the carrots and tomato purée. Gradually add the Guinness and the beef stock.
5. Add the cooked beef, thyme, bay and oregano to the dish. Cover and place in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.
6. Meanwhile make the dumplings. Put the flour into a mixing bowl. Season with a little salt and pepper. Finely chop or grate in the cold butter. Gently rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add a tbsp of cold water and bring the dough together to form a ball. Divide the dough into 20 pieces and roll each one into a dumpling ball. 
7. Take the stew from the oven and nestle the dumplings on top of the cooked stew, pushing each one down into the stew so that it is half way submerged. Place the lid back on the saucepan and return to the oven for an additional 30 mins.
8. Serve this tasty stew with creamy mashed potatoes.


0n a different note... I am again collecting nappies for a gentleman who will be heading to Belarus this April.

There is still an appeal for nappies, which are badly needed for babies and children in Belarus. I know a gentleman who will be travelling out there with a container in April. I'm planning to get together some nappies to send. I need to have them collected by Thurs 21st March. If you are in the Moate area and would like to donate some nappies please give me a shout, by e-mail Otherwise I will be at the car park of the community centre Moate from 11am-11.30am this Saturday 16th March, for anyone who would like to drop off a packet of nappies. I'm also at Mount Temple School every day at 2pm. Thanks a million. Nessa. 


Donna OShaughnessy said...

Nessa first on Nappies. I would like to contribute financially. If you would email me with your address I will send you a check

Now stew,,,yum, this recipe will certainly be tried in my Amercan home this Sunday. Thanks again!

Nessa Robins said...

Donna, your kindness knows no bounds!
I'll pop you an e-mail now. Thanks so much.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

I was looking for something similar to make for St. Patrick's Day. I was wondering if I might put a cheddar crust on this stew and make a pie out of it?

Nessa Robins said...

Certainly. A cheddar crust would be perfect for this stew. I must try that myself!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Oh Nessa, this looks amazing & I can't wait to make it! I have to tell you, when I was in Ireland many years back, I thought the food was amazing!

Wholesome Cook said...

Do you know I don't think Mam ever made dumplings for us? I must try making them for the boys soon. This looks delicious.