It doesn’t get any better then this, another great recipe to warm up to in the winter months. Our beef stew with cheddar and herb dumplings is a slightly altered adaptation of Julia Child’s beef bourguignon, and gets topped with homemade dumplings. Its literally heaven in your mouth. As Julia says “when a recipe is this good, there’s no need to rush!” So don’t! Take your time and your belly will thank you!
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- FOR THE STEW:
- 375 g bacon, chopped
- 2 lbs stewing beef
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 carrots, chopped
- ½ sweet onion, chopped
- 6 thyme springs
- 227 g whole mushrooms, halved
- 4 garlic gloves minced
- 1 cup red wine
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups onion pearls, peeled, but left whole
- 2 tablespoons butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- FOR THE DUMPLINGS:
- 1½ cups self rising flour
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅓ cup shortening
- ¾ cup old or sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- ⅔ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- In a large oven safe pot over medium high heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon, and set on a plate. (reserve the fat in the pot)
- Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and beef to the pot , lower heat to medium, and cook for about 4 minutes, just to brown the beef. Remove the beef and set on a plate.
- Add the remaining olive oil, carrots, onion, garlic, mushrooms, and 4 of the thyme springs and cook about 5-8 minutes, until onion is soft and translucent. (Add more oil if needed)
- Now add the wine, and simmer until wine reduces to about half. Add the broth, and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Add the bacon and beef back to the pot, reduce the heat to low and keep a to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 1.5-2 hours, until beef is nice and tender.
- Meanwhile in the last half hour of the stew cooking, in a pan melt the butter on medium high heat. Add the pearl onions, saute for about 5-10 minutes or until nicely browned. Then add to the pot of stew.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl stir together the self-rising flour and garlic powder. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Stir in the cheddar cheese and parsley, then add the milk and stir until the dry ingredients are moistened.
- Make small balls, about 3 tablespoons, from the dough mixture and drop them in the stew, leaving them room to expand as they will grow a lot. Bring the stew pot into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until dumplings are browned and cooked through.