Thursday, 9 December 2010

Recipe: Winter Warmer with Beery Goodness

What with the current cold snap taking forecasters into unparalleled levels of excitement and idiots panic buying bread, I thought it opportune to share with you this cockle warming (No cockles were harmed in the making of this dish), comforting and downright tasty dish with you

Lamb Stew With Dumplings


500g of Lamb cubed (Neck or Shoulder should do)
1 Onion finely chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic Finely chopped
3 Large Carrots cut into big slices
1 Bag of new potatoes halved
500ml Can of your beer of choice (please note beer not lager, I used London Pride this time but I find the creamier beers are better)
300ml Lamb Stock
80g Flour
2 Bay leaves
Sprig of Thyme
Sprig of Rosemary
Large Pinch of Chili flakes

Dumplings (From Leiths Cookery Bible)
200g Plain Flour
3 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Dry English Mustard (powder)
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Tsp Salt
55g Suet
150ml Iced Water

To Make the stew ....
Pre-Heat the oven to 160 degrees
Put the flour in a bowl and season well with salt and pepper
Dredge the lamb pieces through the flour so all bits are nicely coated

In a flame proof casserole dish add a little olive oil and heat
Shake of excess flour and fry the lamb until nice and brown all over then remove from the pan
Turn down the heat slightly and add the onions and sweat for a couple of mins

Turn the heat back up, add the Garlic and fry for one min.
Chuck in the potatoes and carrots, fry for another min
Put the Lamb back into the pot together with the remaining flour from the bowl
Pour in the lovely beer bring to the boil using a spatual to remove the tasty bits at the bottom
Now add your stock, herbs and chili flakes, season well and place in the oven with the lid on

Cook for around 2-2.5 hours , check every now and then to makes sure it hasn't dried out, if it has add a little water or stock , stir well and put back in the oven oh and don't forget, keep tasting

Sift the flour, baking powder, mustard, cayenne and salt into a large bowl and add the suet
Pour in the water and use a knife to mix together
Once it starts to form a single mass e.g now powder left get your hands in and start to form into a dough.
Divide into 8 even sized pieces and shape each one into a ball
Take your stew out of the oven , gently place the dumplings onto the stew put the lid back on and cook for another 15 mins. The dumplings should be firm to the touch. Put back in the oven uncovered for a further 5 mins to get a nice crust on the dumplings

You can serve with Mash or thick crusty bread, I occasionally use Parmesan mash with this and the flavours matched perfectly

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