Bella’s kitchen – Lamb Stew with Homemade Dumplings
Cold weather calls for comfort food and stew and dumplings fit the bill! This casserole can sit in a low temperature oven all day until you come home (the bottom of an Aga is ideal if you have one.) It’s even better made the day before and re-heated.
For the stew
450gms lamb neck not including bone weight. Diced lamb is fine but if possible get lamb neck with the bone in and allow a bit more weight to account for this
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 onions – I use red ones which worked well, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, chopped into small pieces
2 big cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 litre lamb or vegetable stock
Big glass red wine
1/2 teaspoon smoked hot paprika
For the dumplings
140 gms cold butter
250 gms self raising flour.
2 tablespoons finely chopped herbs. Parsley, thyme and rosemary are good, but you could use sage, or chives or any combination.
Heat oven to gas 2 or equivalent.
Heat your tablespoon of olive oil in an ovenproof casserole dish. Meanwhile mix 1 tablespoon of the flour with a good pinch of salt and some pepper and roll the lamb in it. Brown the floured lamb on all sides over a medium heat. Remove and set aside on a plate.
Add a drop more oil to the pan if necessary, lower the heat slightly and sauté the onions, carrots and celery gently until the onions are soft, adding the garlic just before the end.
Scatter the other tablespoon of flour and the paprika over the veg, stirring it in well. Add the stock and keep stirring as it thickens slightly, then add the red wine and simmer briskly for about three minutes, until the alcohol has burned off.
Put the lamb back in the pan, making sure it’s more or less covered, add a little water if you need to. Cover with a lid or tightly with 2 layers of foil and put in oven. Leave to cook for at least two hours, checking about two thirds of the way through. The meat should be very tender.
For the dumplings.
Chop the butter into little pieces and scatter over the flour in a roomy bowl. Rub it in with your fingers until you get a breadcrumb texture, or use a mixer on pulse setting.
Mix in the herbs and a little salt and pepper then add about 100ml water to make a fairly dry paste. With floury hands roll this into about 12- 14 ping-pong size balls.
Whack up the temp in the oven to a medium heat, take the lid off the stew, pop the dumplings on top, and return to the oven for about 20 mins.
Serve with any veg you like or a green salad.
The stew freezes well, but not the dumplings. Make these fresh.