Ingredients (Serves 6)
- 600g/1lb 5oz stewing steak, cubed
- 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil or beef dripping
- 50g/2oz butter
- 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, washed, trimmed and chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 350g/12oz brown mushrooms, wiped, trimmed and quartered
- 2 leeks, trimmed, chopped and well rinsed
- 1 tsp paprika Freshly ground black pepper
- 500ml/18fl oz light beer or lager
For the dumplings
- 100g/4oz self-raising flour
- 50g/2oz prepared suet
- 1⁄4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 75g/3oz strong Cheddar cheese, grated
- A handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4. Roll the steak in the seasoned flour until coated.
Heat the oil or dripping in a large ovenproof casserole with a lid, over a medium heat. Add and brown the meat in two batches. Transfer to a bowl until needed.
Reduce the heat and melt the butter in the casserole. Add all the vegetables, the paprika and a good grinding of black pepper and give a good stir. Cook gently for 25 minutes, until the vegetables are soft, making sure they don’t burn.
Return the meat to the casserole. Pour in the beer or lager and enough water to just cover the meat, stir thoroughly, pop the lid on and transfer to the oven for 13⁄4 hours.
Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Using a fork, briskly mix in the egg and enough water to make a sticky dough, but be careful not to overmix. Form into 6 dumplings the size of walnuts and pop on top of the stew at the end of the cooking time. Cover the casserole with its lid and cook for a further 15 minutes.
Serve with a salad on the side if you like, but this is a whole meal on its own.