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Classic Beef Stew and Dumplings, Food Gypsy

Classic Beef Stew & Dumplings

  • Author: Cori Horton
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4


A cold-weather classic, Beef Stew & Dumplings is a snuggle-up and stay-cozy kind of meal designed to fill the hunger gap, on a budget. Meaty and comforting, with light fluffy dumplings, it makes the long nights of winter – warm!


Units Scale

For the stew:

  • 4 lbs (1.5 kilos) braising beef
  • 8 cups low-sodium beef stock
  • 35 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil
  • 23 carrots, peeled & roll cut
  • 23 onions, cut in quarters
  • 23 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 23 large bay leaves1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 teaspoons flour (see note)
  • 3 teaspoons butter
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

For the Dumplings:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, if desired
  • 3/41 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley – to finish


For the stew:

1. Preheat oven to 350°f (175°c). Dry meat well with paper towel. Trim any excess fat or connective tissue. Cut meat into cubes a little over an inch in size, and dry again, then season well with salt & pepper.
3. Heat a heavy-bottomed, oven-proof pot, cocotte or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add a generous slick of high-smoke point oil (I prefer sunflower for neutrality) and heat until the oil shimmers. Add half the cubed beef, being careful to space out prices in the pot to sear.
4. Sear meat in batches, to a deep, golden brown. Adding more oil as needed. Remove seared beef from the pot and reserve.
5. Pour off hot fat into a heat-resistant bowl or jar. Return pot to heat, reducing the temperature to medium. Immediately add 1 – 2 cups of low-sodium beef stock to deglaze, and scrape any and all browning from the pan and into the stock, then add the remaining stock.
6. Return beef to the pot. Add onions, carrots, (and any other firm vegetables you enjoy) as well as garlic, bay, and thyme. Stir to combine and bring to a rapid boil before covering with a tight-fitting lid and place ing in 350f (175c) oven.
7. Slow cook until meat is tender, about 90 minutes. Check the liquid level at about the 45-minute mark, adding more stock or water if needed to ensure ingredients are well covered by liquid.
8. While stew cooks, make your cold roux: combine equal parts melted butter and flour in a small bowl and stand at room temperature, or chill until needed. (Best practice, dry mix dumplings while stew cooks, so they can be added quickly.)
9. Once the meat is fork tender, remove cocotte from oven and return to stove top, on medium heat. Add cold roux, a tablespoon at a time, stirring to check consistency until the sauce is rich and smooth.
10. Add peas, stir, top with dumplings, reduce heat to simmer, and return the lid to steam dumplings for 15 – 20 minutes depending on size. Finish with parsley. Serve immediately.

For dumplings:
1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, pepper, and salt. (Dry mix, prep while stew cooks). Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add milk and butter.
2. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir together until you have a rough dough. If your dough seems dry, add up-to a quarter cup of buttermilk.
3. Using a large portion scoop, scoop dough and drop the dumpling directly into the simmering stew. Place around the pot, leaving space between for expansion.
4. Steam as directed above.


If you prefer a cornstarch-thickened gravy, swap out the butter and flour for approximately 2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with equal parts water, added directly to the boiling liquid.  Cornstarch MUST be added to hot liquid to thicken properly.  I prefer to add slowly, while stirring, to gage consistency.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Stews
  • Method: Braising
  • Cuisine: English

Keywords: Classic Beef Stew & Dumplings, beef stew & dumplings, english dumplings