Mama's beef stew with dumplings

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From: Grigson

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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3 / 5 (139 votes)

Prep time:
40 min
Cook time:
2 hrs 30 min

Faith Brown rustles up winner of a dinner with this hearty stew and light-as-air dumplings - just like Mama used to make


1. Put the beef and water in a large saucepan and bring up to the boil. Simmer gently for 1 hour.

2. Add the vegetables, stock and herbs. Bring back to the boil then leave to simmer for 1 hour until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Mix the flour with cold water to make a paste. Add this to the stew to thicken the broth.

4. Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Sift the flour with the salt, and then stir in the suet and parsley.

5. Add the garlic and enough cold water to mix to a soft but not sticky dough.

6. Divide into pieces about as big as walnut, and roll each one into a ball.

7. Add the dumplings to the stew, cover the pan and simmer for a final 15-20 minutes, until the dumplings are puffed and cooked through and stew has thickened.

8. Serve immediately.


  • 450 g stewing beef steaks, e.g. shin of beef, or skirt, or chuck steak, cubed
  • 600 ml water
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 small turnip, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 a white cabbage, shredded
  • 10 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 2 cube of beef stock
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 pinches black pepper

For the dumplings:

  • 220 g self-raising flour
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 110 g suet
  • 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 dashes of cold water, to mix

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Latest Comment


A little adjusting is required the some of the quantities but it doesn't take a chef to realise that if they water is boiling dry you need to top it up. I throw in whatever veg I fancy. It works really well with celery, parsnip & sweet potato chunks too.

SamanthaF70901 SamanthaF70901  Posted 01 Dec 2013 12:33 PM

i wana cook this but am worried about cost can sum1 give me a rough estimate as to how much it all comes to as i will hav to go nd buy all the ingredients

stephG19620 stephG19620  Posted 20 Jan 2011 1:00 PM

lesW2393 lesW2393  Posted 03 Oct 2010 11:59 PM

Do not use this recipe the quantities are all wrong i.e. water and veg if you like potato and cabbage soup that’s a bit dry i.e. 600ml of water for about 2kg of ingredients did you actually cook this your self using these quantities? Terrible you just spoiled my dinner

lesW2393 lesW2393 Posted 03 Oct 2010 11:51 PM

Thanks LouiseR27653, it means half a cabbage. I have updated the recipe to make this clearer.

Celia Good Food Celia Good Food Posted 01 Oct 2010 11:28 AM

0.5 what? lbs? Sorry just not used to chefs not using some kind of metric system. Im hopin this is going to work out coz its the only thing i can really make as ive started it now and like one of the other comments say it is very vague.....

LouiseR27653 LouiseR27653 Posted 30 Sep 2010 5:39 PM

Not great i didnt think, sorry!

AlyssaC57503 AlyssaC57503 Posted 02 Sep 2010 9:09 PM

Well, nearing the end and it should be ready soon, for the actual recipe instructions im awarding two stars, because as another reviewer says, there wasnt enough water, and it confused me. We will 'taste-test' and then decide on the final verdict!

AlyssaC57503 AlyssaC57503 Posted 02 Sep 2010 7:44 PM

Im currently in the process of trying to cook this, i hope it turns out good! I have found the instructions a little vague to be honest. Im not a chef, and i rarely cook, so it may just me being thick!
For example:
0.5 cabbage - im hoping i havent overdone it but seems i have a LOT of cabbage, but we will see!

Step 3 - Do i do this after leaving for an hour...or at the end of the hour??? Im just going to do it at the end of the hour and hope for the best??? Actually, ill do it during the hour??

ooh hope it turns out nice! haha

AlyssaC57503 AlyssaC57503 Posted 02 Sep 2010 5:48 PM

nice.. not enough liquid though. More than one litre was needed, but it was very tasty indeed. Loved the garlic and parsley dunplings.

jeany103 jeany103 Posted 06 Jan 2010 9:58 PM

nice.. not enough liquid though. More than one litre was needed, but it was very tasty indeed. Loved the garlic and parsley dunplings.

jeany103 jeany103 Posted 06 Jan 2010 9:58 PM

lovely stwe I like to put the stew and dumplings in the oven without a lid, that way they are soft and fluffy inside and deliciously brown and crispy on top, yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

underbank underbank Posted 28 Jun 2009 8:23 PM

I dont know if i cooked this right.. i followed the recipe down to every last detail and it turned out really dry, thick and the potatoes was still hard?!!

FrancescaP40990 FrancescaP40990 Posted 13 Apr 2009 6:13 PM

Was really delicious loved by us all!!

traceyT10301 traceyT10301 Posted 05 Oct 2008 7:31 PM