Beef Stew With Dumplings

I'm so excited about this recipe!

For Christmas my In-laws gave me some great cookbooks. This recipe for beef and dumplings comes from The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook! My English mother-in-law and I share a love for Downton Abbey, so it's an extra special gift from her.

I really enjoyed pulling the book out and finally trying some of the recipes last week. This dish is very flavorful and made me feel like a real pro chef!

I adapted it a little from the original recipe because I couldn't find treacle or lardons. Maybe those are more easily accessible in the UK, but it didn't hurt the recipe to leave those out. I added a little more beef in place of the lardons, and used organic maple syrup instead of treacle.

This dish is cooked "low and slow" for about 3 hours, so it's a little time consuming and takes some real planning. If you've got the time, it is so worth the it!

Although time consuming, the actual process is fairly simple. Just brown the beef and onions in a skillet on high heat. Once all the other ingredients have been added the stew will need to simmer on low for 3 hours.

While the stew is simmering, prepare the dumplings! These are simple and savory. Divide the dough into 8 parts and form into balls.

Flatten each ball a little in your palms and add them to the stew when there's about 2 hours of cook time remaining.

As the stew cooks, add water if the pan begins to boil dry. The amount of water you add is totally up to you, depending on what consistency you want your stew to have.

After 3 hours, when the beef is tender, garnish with rosemary and it's ready to serve! It's super filling so this recipe should easily serve 8.

I also need to shout out to my brother-in-law who got me this fantastic cast iron skillet for Christmas!

And now the recipe...


For the Stew:

- 1 Tablespoon lard or vegetable oil

- 2.5 lbs Stewing beef, cut into 1-1 1/2 inch cubes

- 1 Small yellow onion, diced

- 1 Tablespoon flour

- 2 Tablespoons malt vinegar

- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

- 1 1/2 Teaspoons maple syrup

- 8 Whole cloves

- 2 Bay leaves

- 2 Cups beer

- Salt and pepper to taste

For the Dumplings:

- 1 Cup flour

- 3/4 Cup cold butter, cut into small pieces

- 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder

- Pinch of salt

- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

- Dash of black pepper


1. Heat the lard/vegetable oil over high heat and brown the beef.

2. Reduce the heat to medium high, add the onions and cook until translucent.

3. Sprinkle flour over the meat and onions and fry for 3-5 minutes, turning regularly.

4. Add the remaining ingredients.

5. Add enough water to just cover the beef.

6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Bring the stew to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer until beef is tender (about 3 hours).

* If pan begins to boil dry, add a little more water

8. While that simmers, prepare the dumplings. In a medium mixing bowl combine all dumpling ingredients with a pastry cutter or fork.

9. Mix in cold water gradually, just until a thick dough forms.

10. Divide dough into 8 balls, and add to stew for about 2 hours.