Sunday, 13 November 2011

Beef and Guinness casserole with mushroom dumplings

I love winter food. It's sticky and warm and filling ( and fattening ) and I welcome the opportunity to cook different meals according to season. I often think about living in a warmer climate but as the seasons change I love to embrace all the diversity which you would probably miss if you lived just for the climate. We are lucky living in the UK, our seasons are defined and our food is seasonal. Having said that, roll on English strawberries.

Serves 2

500g lean casserole steak chunked
16oz Guinness
1onion chopped roughly
6 largish chestnut mushrooms peeled
Splash Worcestershire sauce
Large splash mushroom ketchup
500mls Beef stock
Rounded tbsn redcurrant jelly
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cornflour to thicken

4oz self raising flour
2oz cold butter
2oz chestnut mushrooms finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
Little cold water
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 150c/275f/gas 2-3
Simply place beef, onion, mushrooms and all other ingredients in a medium ovenproof dish, stir and cover tightly. Pop in oven and cook gently for a couple of hours
After a couple( 2 ) of hours, take out and stir, add a little water if necessary and cover again. Leave for a further hour or so.

For the dumplings, simply rub butter into flour until breadcrumbs, add mushrooms, onion and salt and pepper, bring together with a little cold water. Work as little as possible, just form into 4 dumpling roundels.

After a further hour , or whenever it is to your taste, thicken with a little cornflour and add dumplings. Cover and place back in the oven for 30 minutes.

The dumplings have a sticky gooey texture, perfect with lots of gravy and a glass or two of red wine.

It would be easy to say to brown the meat, caramelize the onions etc before cooking but, in my experience, it isn't always necessary.


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