Beef mince stew and dumplings, the best of British comfort food, it’s delicious, relatively cheap, hearty and the perfect winter dinner.
My version has a rich gravy that rocks both Worcestershire sauce and Marmite and takes around an hour and a half to cook.
Ground Beef and Dumplings
Beef stew is a beautiful thing and I have a host of them on my website. Everything from French beef daube, to Greek kokkinisto and Hungarian marha porkolt and of course a British beef stew and dumplings.
Despite using stewing beef all of those dishes are quite costly to make and need a long old cook. Beef mince however, even the good stuff, is relatively affordable, cooks an awful lot more quickly and I personally love it.
This beef mince stew and dumplings recipe is a bit of a sister recipe to my savoury mince recipe.
They share an awful lot in common, however, the big difference here is the good old-fashioned British dumpling.
A curious name often used around the world, but one that dates back to Norfolk in the 1600’s.
I make the sort of dumplings that my nan would have made. Nothing more than fat (suet), self raising flour, salt, herbs and water… but my gosh are they special.
Go on, strap yourself in for a trip down memory lane and enjoy.
The minced beef mix in this recipe is very similar to the filling for my minced beef and onion pie.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is beef suet?
Beef suet is the hard fatty deposits that surround the kidney of a cow. It has been used for centuries as both a cooking ingredient and even a source of energy.
As far as I am concerned a dumpling ain’t a dumpling without suet. I use a brand called atora.
Can I use vegetable suet?
Yes, if you wish I have tested my recipe with both and it works fine, I just prefer beef suet.
Can I make denser dumplings?
Yes, of course, you just need to reduce the water a little and make the dough a little less sticky. If you want them even lighter, make them even stickier!
The dumplings that I add to my British beef stew are a little more dense and stodgy.
Do I have to use Marmite?
No, you can omit it if you like, however, I would urge you not to! I stand shoulder to shoulder with those of you that do not like Marmite.
Spreading the stuff on toast and making me eat it would be akin to torturous for me. But stir a spoonful into some gravy and it is magic, it adds a depth of flavour that is wonderful.
Can I make this in advance?
I like my dumplings to have a firm exterior and these tend not to reheat too well in my opinion.
However, if you like soft dumplings, then yes absolutely this reheats perfectly cook the dish cover it and pop it in the fridge.
To reheat, stick it in the oven at 180°C or 350°F until piping hot, which will take around 20 minutes.
Mince and dumplings is proper comfort food and that for me means mash… but not the mash that you think!
Mashed potatoes work ok with this, but we already have plenty of carby starchy goodness with the dumpling. So I go a different way, swede and carrot mash adds a lovely sweet contrast to the savoury minced beef stew.
You could also opt for celeriac mash which will add a different earthy celery vibe, but will taste great.
I also add some peas, because I love peas, once again they add more fresh sweetness and are easy to cook.
If you are not worried about a bit of a carby overload, then a special mention goes to some buttery herby new potatoes. I’ve always loved them with a minced beef stew.
I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- 28cm or 11″ oven-proof frying pan with a lid.
- Stirring and serving spoons.
- Chopping board.
- kitchen knife.
- Weghing scales and or a combination of a measuring jug, cups and spoons.
- Mixing bowl.
This delicious old-fashioned British beef mince and onion stew comes with suet dumplings, is the perfect winter warmer and a throw back to childhood food memories.
For the Stew
- 200g (1⅓ Cups) Onion
- 75g (½ Cup) Carrot
- 50g (1 Stick) Celery
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 300g (10oz) Minced Beef
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
- 1 Tsp Flour
- 50ml (3 Tbsp) Worcestershire Sauce
- 500ml (2 Cups) Beef Stock
- 1 Tsp Marmite
For the Dumplings:
- 45g (½ Cup) Dried Beef Suet
- 70g (⅔ Cup) Self Raising Flour
- 1 Tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
- ¼ Tsp Salt
- ~60ml (¼ Cup) Water
- Peel and cut the onions into a 5mm (¼") dice.
- Cut the carrot into a dice the same size as the onion.
- Cut the celery into a dice the same size as the onion and carrot.
- Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves.
- Heat a 28cm or 11" oven-proof frying pan (that you have a lid for) over a medium heat and when it is hot add the vegetable oil. onion, celery and carrot, then soften for 8-10 minutes stirring regularly. The tone of the sizzle will change and the amount of steam will dramatically reduce when they are done.
- Turn the heat up as high as it will go and when the vegetables start to sizzle add the beef and cook until nicely browned, stirring regularly, scraping the bottom of the pan as you go.
- Add the flour, tomato puree, garlic, and sprigs of thyme and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in the Worcestershire sauce and cook for another minute.
- Pour in the beef stock, stir in the Marmite and let the stew boil on a medium-high heat to reduce a little whilst you prepare the dumplings.
- Add the dry ingredients for the dumplings into a medium bowl, then pour in the water little by little until you format dough that is quite sticky. Then form the dough into 2 roughly shaped dumplings.
- Have a taste of the stew and add salt if required, then add the dumplings, add a lid to the pan and then pop it into the oven for 45 minutes at 170°C or 340°F for 45 minutes, remove the lid and cook for another 15 minutes if you like a crispy outer coating to your dumplings.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 940Total Fat: 56gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 175mgSodium: 1824mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 57g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.