Sunday, July 7, 2013

A winter warmer - Slow cooked beef with parmesan dumplings

Slow cooked beef with parmesan dumplings (serves 4-6)

I love this winter warmer – you can throw everything into the slow cooker and you don’t have to worry about it again for hours! The recipe is easy to follow but most of all it tastes fantastic! 

Cooking time: approx. 5 hours (depending on your slow cooker)


Beef stew
2 Tbs olive oil
1.8kg gravy beef, excess fat trimmed, cut into 3cm pieces
400g button mushrooms, halved
5 (250g) bacon rashers, rind removed, coarsely chopped
1 large brown onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1x 400g can diced tomatoes
1 1/2c beef stock
1/2c red wine
3 sprigs fresh rosemary (kept whole)
2 medium carrots – coarsely chopped
2 sticks celery – halved and sliced
2x medium potatoes – cut into 1cm cubes
1/3c tomato paste
1 egg, lightly whisked

Parmesan dumplings*
2c self-raising flour
80g chilled butter, chopped
1/4c chopped fresh continental parsley
3/4c shredded or grated parmesan
3/4c milk
1/2t cayenne pepper (optional)

Turn the slow cooker onto low.
Heat 1T of oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat.
Add half the beef and cook, turning until each side is browned.
Transfer to the slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining beef, reheating the pan between batches.
Heat remaining 1T oil in the pan over medium heat.
Add mushroom, bacon, onion and garlic and cook, stirring until onion is soft.
Add mushroom mixture to the slow cooker along with the tin of tomato, beef stock, red wine, rosemary sprigs and vegetables.
Stir to combine, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 hours or until the beef is tender.
Stir in the tomato paste.
Season with salt and pepper and increase heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, for a further 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the parmesan dumplings, place flour and butter in a large bowl and use your fingertips to rub butter into flour.
Stir in the parsley and 1/2c of the parmesan. Add cayenne pepper if using.
Add the milk gradually until mixture begins to hold together.
Divide the mixture evenly into 12 portions and roll to form small balls.
Preheat oven to 220°C.
Transfer the beef mixture to a 4L (16-cup) capacity ovenproof dish and place dumplings on top.
Sprinkle the dumplings with remaining parmesan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until dumplings have risen and are golden.

Serve immediately with steamed green vegetables.


*You can omit the dumplings and serve the beef with your favourite pasta.

I'm interested in trialing a few different cuts of beef as I found the gravy beef to take quite a while to become tender - but that could have something to do with the temperature of my slow cooker.

This recipe could also be amazing with chicken - just swap the beef and stock for chicken (I would suggest thighs as they are more tender and won't dry out like the breast). 

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