Yep, it’s still winter, so it’s still legally required to eat stew once a week. Shin beef always slow cooks brilliantly but the probelm is you can’t do dumplings in the slowcooker (I’ve not tried it yet anyway), thus this was slow cooked for 8 hours, then finished in the oven.

I made a huge batch of mirepoix a few months ago and it’s great for things like this. I grate it rather than the classic French dice because it’s a faff.

You will need

Mirepoix

Grate equal amounts of onion, carrot and celary. Mix it well. I freeze it.

For the stew and dumplings

  • A chunk of shin beef, about 500g, in rough 1 inch cubes
  • A couple of decent sized shallots, peeled and halved
  • A bottle of porter (500ml or so) I used a Sainsbury’s own
  • A clove of garlic, smashed up a bit
  • A big handful of Mirepoix (see note)
  • A couple of teaspoons of oregano
  • 100g of selfraising flour (I used brown, this was a mistake)
  • 50g of suet
  • A pinch of salt

Do

  • Put the beef, shallots, beer, garlic, mirepoix and oregano in a slowcooker (I set mine to medium)
  • WAIT 8 HOURS WHILST YOUR HOUSE SMELLS AMAZING AND YOU THINK YOU ARE STARVING TO DEATH
  • Still the oven on 180
  • If your slowcooker bowl is oven proof, congratulations, you win. Otherwise, stick an ovenproof dish in the oven to warm up
  • Mix flour, suet and salt with enough water to bind it.
  • If you need too, decant the stew into the the oven proof dish
  • If you think there isn’t enough liquid stir in a bit of hot water or maybe even some more beer
  • Top with dumpling mix equally devided
  • Stick in the oven without a lid for about 20 minutes

Result

Comfort food. Silken onions. Tender beef. Maybe a spoonful of flour would have helped thicken the sauce (add it at the very beginning, dust the beef with it)

Before turning the slowcooker on 8 hours later Dumpling mix Fresh from the oven GET IN MY FACE