East Anglian Casserole with Dumplings
While a meaty casserole might have 100 variations across Britain, in Norfolk dumplings offer a regional twist.
Used as a cheap way to fill empty stomachs dumplings served a similar purpose to the North’s Yorkshire puddings.
- Prep time: 30 minutes
- Cooking time: 3 hours
• For the casserole –
• Stewing Beef (850g, cut into large chunks)
• Celery (2 sticks, cut into thick chunks)
• Carrots (2, cut into thick chunks)
• Peas (200g)
• Onion (1, chopped)
• Bay Leaves (5)
• Thyme (3 sprigs)
• Vegetable Oil (1tbsp)
• Butter (1tbsp)
• Plain Flour (2tbsp)
• Tomato Puree (2tbsp)
• Beef Stock Cubes (2, crumbled)
• For the dumplings –
• Plain Flour (450g)
• Parsley (4tbsp, chopped)
• Fresh Yeast (15g)
• Caster Sugar (1tsp)
• Warm Water (150ml)
• Warm Milk (2tbsp)
1. Preheat the oven to 160⁰C or gas mark 3.
2. Place celery, onions, carrots, peas, and herbs into a casserole dish or hob pot with the oil and butter.
3. Cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft, stir in the flour, stock cubes, and tomato puree.
4. Brown the beef chunks in a separate pan.
5. Stir in 600ml of boiling water, add the beef and bring to a simmer.
6. Cover and put in the oven for 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Uncover and cook for a further hour until the gravy thickens.
7. About two hours before the stew is ready, start the dumplings.
8. Combine the flour, salt, and parsley in a food mixer.
9. Mix yeast and sugar in a separate bowl until it becomes almost liquid.
10. Add the water and milk to the yeast and mix.
11. While the flour, salt, and parsley are mixing, add yeast mixture, letting it knead until the dough comes away from the bowl.
12. Cover the dough with a damp towel for an hour in a warm place
13. Knead the dough again and make 8 dumplings. Let them ‘proof’ (rest to rise) for another half hour.
14. Boil dumplings in a pan for 20 minutes, remove, and serve immediately with the casserole.