Prep 20 mins
Cook 2 hrs
This is only called Matthews cos he likes it (not that he can or would cook unless I was seriously miffed at him) and he would eat it all the time if he could fatty that he is, I updated it a bit after paddy's day as I had been spending my life tending to my new puppy who is lovely and tries to eat Irish stew. I may be being blasphemous by saying it's Irish. It feels Irish so I apologize in advance if I have it wrong he he. I had some bourbon knocking about so I thought I'd throw that in the marinade as well.
- 50 ml Bourbon
- 1 (350 ml) bottle Guinness stout, original
- 200 g onions, chunky chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, halved
- 400 g carrots, chunky chopped
- 125 g button mushrooms
- 2 beef bouillon cubes
- 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1⁄2 teapsoon pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 dash balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 750 g shin beef, chopped chunkily (or braising steak prepared by butcher)
- 275 g bacon, diced (or bacon lardons)
- 1 teapsoon sugar (or molasses)
- 1 tablespoon gravy, granules
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Dumplings ( extra fluffy)
- 5 ounces flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 ounces margarine or 2 ounces butter
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 100 g Mature cheddar cheese (optional)
- 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
- 1 tablespoon water
- 200 g curly kale (or cabbage)
- 500 g potatoes, peeled and chopped into even chunks
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons margarine or 2 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
- Preheat oven to gas mark 5.
- Don't worry if you miss out this first step because of time. You will still get a good stew and sometimes it not practical nor to have enough room in the fridge to do this- Marinate the braising steak in the bourbon and Guinness for 4 hrs to overnight.
- Drain the steak from the marinade if using. If not, keep the bourbon and Guinness to one side to add to stew liquid. Pat the beef down with kitchen paper and toss in the flour mixed with salt and pepper until lightly coated.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the bacon and cook for approx 5 minutes.
- Remove bacon leaving fat and oil, then add the meat in batches leaving for at least 30 second before turning the beef to allow a good brown crust to seal it (extra flavour for later in the stew. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until browned all over but not cooked.
- Place the bacon meat and oils into a large casserole dish. Add the chunky sliced veg LEAVING OUT MUSHROOMS, bourbon and Guinness, bouillon cubes, sugar, herbs and tomato paste. Top up with hot water if necessary. Cover with lid or foil depending on what you have got. Put in middle shelf of oven for approx 1.5- 2 hours.
- Place a large pan of kettle boiled water onto stove. Season with a a teaspoon of salt. Add potatoes. Ten minutes after potatoes have been on, add the kale or cabbage to the pan and cook for further 10 minutes until tender.
- Mash with milk and butter until creamy, adding more salt if you want. Mix in nutmeg; place lid on top to keep warm.
- Prepare the dumplings: Rub together the margarine, flour, salt, herbs and baking powder until it resembles breadcrumbs. If using cheese, add at this stage. Mix in a little water at a time using a knife until the mix forms a dough. Pinch out clumps of dough and roll into balls.
- Half an hour before you are ready to serve, remove lid and check consistency and flavor, adding mushrooms more salt pepper sugar as desired. If consistency is too thin, add gravy granules. If too thick, add a little more water. Place dumplings on top of stew and and put back in oven uncovered for half an hour.
- When you take it out, your stew should be thick but with enough juice to soak up your mash and your dumplings should be golden and fluffy.