The Lechasseurs' Recipes

Only the "keepers"

Beef Stew with Newcastle Brown Ale and Dumplings


2 1b 3oz shin of beef (or use flank or neck), chopped into chunks
3 tablespoons flour
olive oil
3 red onions, peeled, halved and roughly sliced
1 ¾ oz pancetta or bacon, chopped
3 sticks of celery, chopped
1 small handful of rosemary, leaves picked
5 cups Newcastle Brown ale or other dark ale
2 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dumplings
1 ¾ cups of self rising flour
½ cup of butter
A good pinch of salt and pepper
2 sprigs of rosemary chopped


Season the beef, sprinkle with the flour and toss around until well coated. Heat up a frying pan until it is good and hot, add a little olive oil and fry the beef in 2 batches until nice and brown. Transfer the meat to a big casserole-one that is suitable to go on a stove top burner-mixing in the flour that was left on the plate after coating it. Put the casserole on a medium heat, add the onions and pancetta, and cook until the onions are translucent and the pancetta has a bit of color. Add your celery and rosemary. Now you can pour in your ale and 1 ¼ cups of water, adding your parsnips, carrots and potatoes. (Feel free to add whatever veg you like at this stage.) Bring to the boil, put a lid on, turn down the heat and leave it to simmer while you make the dumplings-which are choice.

Blitz the dumpling ingredients in a blender or rub between your fingers till you have a breadcrumb consistency, then add just enough water to make a dough that isn't sticky. Divide it into Ping-Pong-ball-sized dumplings and put these into the stew, dunking them under. Put the lid back on and leave it to cook for 2 hours. Taste it, season it as you like, and then serve the stew with some greens and loads of bread to mop up the juices.

Happy Days with the Naked Chef – Jamie Oliver p.31.