Beef Stew with Cheddar Dumplings

>> Thursday, January 7, 2010

I love stew. Since I'm Canadian and not American, I never got into the whole chicken and dumplings deal. Where I come from, stew is made with red meat. Deer, Beef, Buffalo, Moose, Elk and Caribou if you're lucky.

My stew is simple, basic and delicious. Stew isn't suppose to be fancy. It sticks to your ribs. This is my stew.

To start, I use a cast iron dutch oven with a lid. Having a pot with lid is very important if you are making dumplings. My cast iron goes into the oven so it is my preferred vessel. You can use a crock pot/slow cooker if you wish.

1 large onion
1/4 cup veg oil
1 1/2 to 2 lbs red meat of your choice cut into cubes, dredged in flour
1 large cardboard container of beef stock, *College Inn Bold Stockis great!

Veggies that you may add:
potatoes cut into large pieces
cubed turnip
green beans

In your large pot on med heat, add oil and onions (and mushrooms if you wish). Cook until they onions are lightly tender then remove and set aside leaving the oil in the pot. Turn your heat med-high and add your meat. You want to brown the outside but not really cook the inside of your pieces. Add onions back to the pot along with one container of beef stock.

Simmer this on your stove top, in crockpot or inside oven at 300 Degrees for 4-6 hours. Stirring every now and then. Add your veggies when you are an hour from serving.

2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 salt
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup milk
1/2 grated cheddar cheese plus 1/4 cup (optional)

Combine dry ingredients and cut in shortening with a fork or your fingers until crumbly. Add your 1/2 cup of grated cheddar and milk and stir into a soft dough. Drop spoonfuls onto of your cooked stew, cover with lid(DO NOT REMOVE) and cook for 15 minutes.

The next step is something I prefer but is not necessary. After 15 mins is up and your dumplings are fully cooked. Remove lid, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheddar on top and place pot under broiler until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Please make sure your pot is oven safe before trying this step.


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