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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Beef in Beer with Herb Dumplings

poor jab has been feeling ill this week. he has a bad habit of coming down with something around xmas time every year. as they say, tis the season. he also has the bad habit of not calling out sick from work, such a work horse is he that he'll suffer on thru nausea and the sniffles. in the hopes of making him feel better, i offered to make him some soup. he ix-nayed wonton soup (which is my grandmother's recipe and it is awesome!), chicken soup and chicken 'n dumplings. he likes his beef stew. so i rifled thru my one-pot cookbook for the ultimate recipe that would satisfy his palate but also mine. i'm a pretty easy eater, and i've been asked how i deal with jab's picky food nature. i see it as more of a challenge to work around. plus, when i first met him, he did not eat ethnic food. as in, no chicken penang, or vindaloo, or curry, and i think he tried Pho for the first time this year! it's no hardship for me to figure out what he'll enjoy. i've stopped beating my head against his dislikes and i just work my cooking around it. it all evens out in the end!

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Beef in Beer with Herb Dumplings
from Linda Doeser's One Pot Recipes

2 tbl corn oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
8 carrots, sliced
4 tbl all-purpose flour
salt and pepper
2 lb 12 oz/1.25 kg stewing steak, cut into cubes
scant 2 cups stout
2 tsp brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1 tbl chopped fresh thyme

Herb Dumplings
3/4 cup self-rising flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup shredded shortening
2 tbl chopped fresh parsley, plus extra to garnish
about 4 tbl water

Preheat the oven to 325F/160C. Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole. Add the onions and carrots and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for five minutes, or until the onions are softened. Meanwhile, place the flour in a plastic bag and season. Add the steak to the bag, tie the top, and shake well to coat. Do this in batches, if necessary.

Remove the veggies from the casserole with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the steak to the casserole, in batches and cook, stirring frequently, until browned all over. Return the meat, onions and carrots to the casserole and sprinkle in any remaining seasoned flour. Pour in the stout and add the sugar, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil, cover and bake in the preheated over for 1 3/4 hours.

To make the Herb Dumplings, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Stir in the shortening and parsley, then add enough water to make a dough. Shapre into small balls. Add to the casserole and return to the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Serve, sprinkled with parsley.

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Today's Soundtrack: Alice in Chains, Heaven Beside You


  1. What is it about this time of year? I am fighting a cold myself---woke up to the feel of razor blades down my throat, I do not exaggerate. Maybe just all the up and down weather or the need for a holiday gets our immune systems off or something.

    Anyway, this soup looks SO SOOTHING! YUM! The perfect thing for a yucky cold.

  2. Seriously divine! I need to leave work and go home and make this right now!

  3. Looks delicious...nice and hearty!

  4. I think we all have these colds that won't quit. if you lived near me I'd order up some of that soup! this looks yum!

  5. shannalee - i hope you're feeling much better by now! it's something about this time of year that just begs for a heaping bowl of this stew.

    kirby - i hope you're able to whip this up soon, it's so hearty and warming! if not, next time i have a crafternoon, i will make it to share with all the broads. :)

    debbie - you just don't know! :) i have one container leftover and that is what i'll be consuming today for lunch. it is so bitterly cold out today, i think this will be what will warm me up.

    monica - if it were possible to shop stew in the mail, i would send it to you in a heartbeat! :) instead, i encourage you to make this during this awful cold front we're experiencing today on the east coast!

  6. Seriously divine! I need to leave work and go home and make this right now!