Autumn eats are absolutely at the top of my list for my must-cook dishes at this time of year. I want culinary comfort; hot and saucy. Yes, I said saucy. My Mum’s recipes are original and are always on the luxurious side of eating.
If the recipe calls for cream, butter and anything else utterly delicious. There’s a fair chance that her version will add twice the amounts of each. Her ultimate goal is always maxed out flavour, and this one certainly delivers. This dish serves between two and four adults. (It depends on how big your bowl is.) So, get your coat and wellies off, and get your slippers and apron on.
It’s time to get cooking.
For the casserole:
500g British stewing steak
1 large onion
A large handful of button mushrooms
2 heaped teaspoons of finely chopped thyme leaves
2 organic beef stock cubes
½ bottle of good red wine
One cup of water
1 heaped teaspoon of Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of mustard ketchup
1 teaspoon of tomato puree.
1 heaped tablespoon of cornflour, slaked in half a cup of water.
The day before, marinate the chopped steak in the wine and other ingredients (excluding the vegetables), in a deep casserole dish. The next day, pop the casserole on to the hob and gently bring the mixture to the boil. Then add in the prepared vegetables along with an extra half pint of water. Then, cover with a lid and slide into an oven, preheated to 160c/gas mark 3 and cook for two hours.
During this time, make and chill the buttery dumplings.
For the dumplings
250g self-raising flour
125g of fridge-cold butter
A pinch of salt and pepper
Enough milk to form a dough
Rub the flour, butter and seasoning together, using your fingertips, until the texture resembles breadcrumbs. Add milk, a few tablespoons at a time, until the mixture binds together to create a dough. Then, roll golf ball sized spheres between your hands and chill in the fridge
Back to the Oven
After two hours, us a slotted spoon to carefully remove the meat and vegetables from the liquid and place to one side. If the remaining sauce is still quite thin, whisk in the slaked cornflour to thicken mixture. (Do take care as it will thicken further as the cornflour cooks out. You may not need all the flour if your sauce is fairly thickened) Once completely stirred in, return the contents to the sauce and place the dumplings on top. Back on with the lid and return to the oven at 190c/gas mark 5 for 25 – 30 minutes.
To test, gently skewer a dumpling with a knife. If it comes out clean. They are ready
Serve with a mound of creamed potato or if you particularly love a good carb kick. I highly recommend crusty bread too.
Yes, I am greedy.
This dish will always be October Sunday lunches to me. Windows steamed up, empty plates and full bellies. Just as it should be.
Obviously, pudding is essential.
Staying with the theme of Autumn eats, may I interest you in a bowl of Shortbread Apple Crumble? You can find the recipe in the link.
Here’s to Autumn warmers,