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Beef, beer and dumplings

This rich beef stew, based on a carbonade, becomes a meal-in-one with the addition of some dumplings.

You'll need

2 tbsp olive oil 1 kg piece boneless beef shin (see note) For dusting: seasoned plain flour 50 gm butter, coarsely chopped 3 onions, thinly sliced 80 gm flat mild pancetta, diced 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 litre (4 cups) veal stock 660 ml Belgian beer 4 thyme sprigs, plus extra finely chopped leaves to serve 2 tbsp brown sugar, or to taste 2 tsp Dijon mustard, or to taste   Herb dumplings 35 gm chilled butter, coarsely chopped 150 gm (1 cup) self-raising flour 1 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves 1 tsp finely chopped thyme


  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Heat half the oil over high heat in a saucepan that will fit the beef snugly. Dust beef in seasoned flour, add to pan and cook, turning once, until browned (5-7 minutes), remove from pan. Add butter, onion, pancetta, garlic and remaining oil to pan and stir occasionally until caramelised (15 minutes). Add veal stock, beer, thyme and beef, cover and roast until beef is tender (3-3½ hours). Remove beef and onions from sauce with a slotted spoon, cover with foil and keep warm, then cook sauce over high heat until reduced by half (20-30 minutes). Skim excess oil from surface and season to taste with brown sugar and mustard.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for herb dumplings, process butter and flour to combine, then add 50ml water or enough to make a scone-like dough. Transfer dough to a bowl, add herbs, season to taste and knead until combined. Roll into 18 evenly sized balls, then add to sauce and turn occasionally over low-medium heat until dumplings are puffed and cooked through (10-15 minutes). Carefully remove dumplings with a slotted spoon, then add beef to sauce. Place dumplings on top and roast in oven until beef is warmed through (15 minutes). Serve beef sliced or pulled into pieces with dumplings and sauce, scattered with extra thyme.

Note You may need to order the beef shin ahead from a butcher.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Strong Belgian ale.

Featured in

Aug 2009

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