Beef and ale stew with horseradish dumplings
Got a crowd to feed? Mary's hearty beef and ale stew recipe is perfect and the oven does most of the work for you.
For this recipe you will need a deep ovenproof casserole dish with a lid.
For the dumplings
Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a deep ovenproof casserole dish over a high heat. Add the beef in batches and brown all over, adding more oil if needed. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour another tablespoon oil into the casserole dish, then add the shallots, carrots and mushrooms and fry for few minutes, stirring.
Meanwhile, put the flour in a bowl, whisk in a little ale to make a smooth paste, then whisk in the rest of the ale.
Return the beef to the casserole, then pour in the ale mixture and stock. Stir over a high heat until thickened and boiling. Stir in the onion marmalade, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and gravy browning (if using) and cook, stirring, for few minutes. Season with salt and pepper, cover, then bake for 2–2½ hours, or until the meat is tender.
To make the dumplings, put the flour and suet in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Gradually add 150ml/5fl oz water and stir to make a soft, sticky dough. Tip onto a floured work surface and gently knead until smooth.
Flour a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Put the dough on top and roll out to about 15x25cm/6x8in. Spread over the horseradish cream and scatter with parsley. Roll up the dough, from the long side, to make a Swiss roll shape. Chill for 45 minutes, then slice into eight pieces.
When the beef is tender, remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 220C/200Fan/Gas 7. Remove the bay leaves and add the dumplings. Return to the oven, without the lid, for 25 minutes, or until the dumplings are golden and puffed up. Serve the beef and ale stew piping hot.