Beef in Stout with Dumplings

For a splendid hearty dish try Antony Worrall Thompson's slow-cooked beef casserole served with herbed dumplings
By Antony Worrall Thompson
Beef in Stout with Dumplings
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 5 hours 40 minutes to 6 hours 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 1.8 kg chuck steak, cut into 5cm chunks
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 55 g unsalted butter
  • 40 g plain flour
  • black pepper
  • 450 g shallots
  • 225 g lardons of bacon
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 175 g pitted prunes, cut in half
  • 175 g pickled walnuts, cut into four
  • 1 litres stout
  • 900 ml beef stock

For the bouquet garni:

  • 2 strips leeks
  • 2 sprig thyme
  • 4 stalks parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sticks celery

For the dumplings:

  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 4 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 4 tbsp freshly chopped chives
  • 150 ml milk

To serve:

  • steamed or boiled carrots
  • steamed or boiled green vegetables, such as broccoli and Savoy cabbage


1. Preheat oven to 140°C/gas 1.

2. Heat the oil and butter in a large non-stick frying pan.

3. Meanwhile, place the beef in a large bowl and add the flour. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix together to coat the meat. Shake off any excess flour.

4. Add the beef to the pan and cook until the meat is brown on both sides.

5. Meanwhile place the shallots in a bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave to stand for 2-3 minutes to soften, drain, then peel.

6. Remove the meat and place in a large heavy-based casserole dish.

7. Add the bacon lardons to the frying pan used for browning the meat. Cook until golden brown. Add the peeled shallots to the pan and cook with the bacon lardons for 2-3 minutes.

8. Meanwhile add the mustard, brown sugar, prunes and pickled walnuts to the meat in the casserole dish and stir. Then add the bacon lardons and shallots to the dish.

9. Stir in about a quarter of the stout to de-glaze the pan which cooked the bacon lardons and shallots. Pour into the casserole dish. Add the remaining stout and the beef stock.

10. Make the bouquet garni by tying the leeks and herbs between two celery sticks. Add to the casserole.

11. Bring the casserole to the boil, cover and place in the oven. Cook for 5-6 hours or until the meat is tender.

12. Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the olive oil and herbs (reserving a little of the parsley for garnishing).

13. Add the milk and, using a fork, mix to form soft dough. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead briefly. Shape the dough into 16 walnut sized dumplings.

14. Remove the stew from the oven and place the dumplings on top. Increase the oven temperature to 180°C/gas 4 and return the beef to the oven an cook, uncovered for 35-40 minutes, or until the dumplings have risen and are golden brown.

15. Sprinkle over the reserved parsley. Serve with carrots and green vegetables.

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