Beef Stew and Dumplings 

Here is Companion Dave's easy and delicious Beef Stew and Dumplings recipe. It went down a treat with Companions, so it will definitely go down well with your family. Serve on its own or with fresh seasonal vegetables. 

Beef stew with dumplings

Recipe makes 4-5 portions

Preparation time - 30 minutes 

Total cooking time - 2 hours & 40 minutes

Ingredients for Beef Stew

  • 500g of Diced Beef
  • 2 Large White Onions or Shallots 
  • 5 Large Carrots
  • 6 Large Parsnips
  • 300g of Baby Plum Tomatoes
  • 2 Large Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of dried Thyme or 3 fresh sprigs
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of Plain Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon of Worcester Sauce/ Henderson's Relish
  • 600ml of preferred stock (meat or vegetable)
  • Gravy granules (flavour of choice, thicken to preference)
  • Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper to taste

Ingredients for Dumplings

  • 75g of Beef Suet
  • 150g of Self-Raising flour sifted
  • Salt and Black pepper
  • Water to bind (3 tablespoons or more)


Step 1 - Prepare the vegetables

Start by peeling the carrots and chopping each end off. Then, slice the carrots into chunky rounds about 1cm thick (this doesn't need to be perfect). Then do exactly the same method for the parsnips. Simple! 

Top tip: To make this even quicker don't peal the veg! Simply wash the carrots and parsnips and cut as instructed above. 

Carrots and parsnips sliced and prepared

Step 2 - Cut the onions

After you have prepared the carrots and parsnips, take your onions and peel away the skin and one layer of the onion. Slice in half and then dice into small chunks around 1.5cm in size. Then use a garlic crusher, grater or knife to prepare your garlic into fine chunks/ paste. 

Top tip - If you are using a knife to prepare your garlic, add a few crystals of sea salt to your chopped garlic and smooth your knife over the garlic and salt crystals to make a smooth garlic paste. 

Diced onions and garlic

Step 3 - Prepare the meat

Take your pre-diced beef chunks and season lightly with salt and pepper. Then sprinkle the flour onto the meat and coat all of the meat with the flour using your hands. 

Add in the flour and mix onto the beef chunks

Step 4 - Brown the meat 

Add your vegetable oil to your pan/oven proof pot and place on a medium heat to warm. Once the oil has heated through, add in your diced beef that has been coated in flour. Cook the meat for around 10-15 minutes, browning the outside of the beef. Stir the meat every few minutes to ensure an even colouring. Don't worry if some of the meat sticks to the bottom of the pan, this creates extra flavour!

Add the beef to the pan and brown

Step 5 - Add the veg

Once the meat has browned on the outside, take it out of the pan and set aside to rest in a deep roasting tray. Then, take the pan you have just used to brown the meat and add in all your vegetables you prepared earlier and place back on a medium heat. If there is meat and beef juices stuck to the bottom of the pan, simply add half a pint of boiling water and pour into the pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape it off the bottom. This will create a lovely depth of flavour. Then add in your dried/fresh thyme and cook for 10-15 minutes. 

Cook the vegetables in the pan to soften

Step 6 - Add beef back in

Now is the time to put your browned beef chunks back into the pan, alongside the veg to cook for another 10 minutes. Only add in the beef chunks and leave any juices in the deep roasting tray to use for your stock.

Add the beef back into the pan

Step 7 - Add the stock

Whilst the beef is simmering with the veg, add your stock liquid to the roasting tray where the meat was resting and thicken slightly with gravy granules. Once you have done that, add the stock to the simmering meat and veg in the pan. 

Beef stock

Step 8 - Add in tomatoes 

Next, add the whole baby plum tomatoes and bay leaves to the pan and stir in gently. Add in 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce (or Henderson's Relish if you have it, Dave's recommendation!) and a pinch of black pepper to season. 

Add the tomatoes to the beef stew

Step 9 - Place in the oven 

If you have been using a pan, decant the beef stew into an oven proof dish and cover with a lid or tin foil top. If you have been using an oven proof pot, add a lid and place into a preheated oven at 190°c /170°c fan assisted. Cook for around 1 hour 30 mins, until it resembles something like the picture below. 

Beef stew once it has been in the oven for 1hr 30 mins

Step 10 - Make the dumplings whilst you wait!

Take your shredded beef suet, self-raising flour and seasoning and add into a bowl. Mix slowly with a hand whisk or mixing machine and slowly add your cold water until you achieve a dough-like consistency. 

Then take your mixture and divide into balls with slightly floured hands and set aside on a floured surface. This ensures your dumplings don't stick! See the image below for a size guide. 

Make your dumplings into round balls.

Step 11 - Add the dumplings

Once your beef stew has been cooking in the oven for around 1 hour and 30 minutes, take it out of the oven and stir. The meat should be soft and beginning to fall apart. Gently place your dumplings on to the top of your beef stew, don't worry if they sink slightly they should rise back up to the top when cooking. Place your beef stew with the dumplings on top, back into the oven with the lid on. Cook for around 20 minutes with the lid on and then remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Add the dumplings to the beef stew

Step 12 - Serve

Once your dumplings are well risen and golden in colour and your beef stew meat soft and falling apart your dish is ready to be enjoyed. Serve on its own or with fresh greens for a hearty meal that everyone will enjoy!

Beef stew with dumplings


Thank you for using Companion Dave's recipes, we hope you enjoyed the meal! Make sure you send us a picture of your dish and we'll feature it on our Social Media!

Dave, the Companion who created these recipes loves to cook and taught himself how to cook by trying out different recipes to work out what flavours went well together. If you would like to read how Dave came to Emmaus... click here 

We post a new recipe that has been created by an Emmaus South Wales Companion every month. We want to share and celebrate our Companion's skills and help you make delicious meals. The next recipe will be posted in May, so keep an eye out!

* Images taken for this recipe were taken whilst Companion Dave was cooking the meals for 20+ Companions. Images do not represent quantities that should be expected when cooking these recipes.