Beef casserole with thyme and mustard dumplings recipe

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This is a wonderful dish to serve on a cold winter day. The savory beef is complemented by the light and fluffy dumplings. Served with creamy mashed potatoes.

  • Yield: 6 Servings


  • 2 lb (900 g) beef stew chunks
  • 5 fl oz (150 ml) red wine
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 large leeks, sliced
  • 4 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped into small cubes
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper
For the Dumplings
  • 21⁄4 cups biscuit mix
  • 3⁄4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme leaves, plus extra to garnish
How to Make It
  1. Put the beef and wine into a bowl and leave to marinate for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325˚F (160˚C). Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan or casserole. Drain the meat from the marinade (reserving the marinade) and brown quickly over high heat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. You may need to do this in batches.
  3. Melt the butter in the frying pan, add the leeks, celery, and apple, and fry for 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar and fry for 2 minutes more or until the leeks are starting to soften.
  4. Add the flour, then blend in the reserved marinade and stock. Return the meat to the pan and add the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, balsamic vinegar, and some salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, then transfer to the oven for 1–11⁄2 hours (11⁄2–2 hours for 12) or until the meat is tender.
  6. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 400˚F (200˚C).
  7. To make the dumplings, mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until combined. Add a tablespoon or two of water, if necessary, to make a sticky but manageable dough. Shape into 12 small balls (24 for 12).
  8. Put the dumplings on top of the casserole and bake without a lid near the top of the oven for 15 minutes or until the dumplings have risen and are golden brown on top. Garnish with chopped thyme.

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