Even on the hottest day of the year, casserole with dumplings is still my favorite comfort food. The aubergine ended up in there becaue I was having a use up of veg, but the texture was tremendous.

You will need

For the casserole

  • Stewing beef - about 400g (cut into inch-or-so cubes)
  • An aubergine (Diced to chunks about an inch across)
  • Enough plain flour for coating the beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • A good pinch of powdered mustard
  • A beef stock pot
  • A heaped teaspoon of tomato puree
  • An onion (Sliced)
  • A couple of cloves of garlic (crushed)

For the dumplings

  • 175g of self raising flour
  • 50g of suet
  • A pinch of salt
  • A super big grind of black pepper
  • Enough cold soda water to bind into firm dough
  • A small handful of random resh herbs (I used parsley, mint, thyme and basil)

Do

  1. Pop the oven on 160oC
  2. Dry off the beef and mix with plain flour, salt, pepper and mustard
  3. Pop a casserole dish on the hob with a good slug of vegetable oil and heat until shimmering
  4. Brown the beef, it’ll take about 5 minutes
  5. Add the onion and garlic, turn the heat down and stir well
  6. Once the onions have started to brown add the stock pot, tomato puree and about a mug of hot water
  7. Bring the liquid to a very gentle boil then pop the lid on and pop it in the oven for about 90 minutes
  8. About 20 minutes before you’re ready to eat, make the dumplings
  9. Mix the flour, suet, mixed herbs, a good pinch of salt and a super grind of pepper
  10. Add enough cold soda water to bind it into a dough (stir with a spoon)
  11. Take lid off the casserole and add the dumpling mix, divided into golf ball sized balls
  12. Return to the oven for about 20 minutes

Result

The aubergine hold it’s shape well, the beef fat balances the dumpling. The soda water seems to produce giant dumplings.

No photos I’m afraid, I wasn’t going to write it up, and then I ate it too quickly