Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Ten pots: the mini-series continues in blazing sunshine caused by me.

Well, that was always going to happen. No sooner do I commence a ten-part winter cooking series to help me deal with endless biting Antarctic winds, glowering skies, buckets of rain and circulation-stopping temperatures, than the sun races up into a glorious azure sky and magnanimously scatters seventeen lovely degrees about the landscape; a warmth not felt for months on skin of man, fur of beast or leaf of tree.

But having caused spontaneous global warming is not going to stop me. I'm going to go right on posting my ten favourite winter pot dishes. Today's recipe: it's all about the dumplings.

Pot #9: Beef with Herb Mustard Dumplings.

Whatever happened to dumplings? They are the lost tribe of modern cuisine. When I was a kid, we hardly ever ate a beef stew without dumplings: steaming creamy-yellow balls of doughy goodness infused with all the flavours of the stew and dripping in delicious gravy.

My global bring-back-the-brussels-sprout campaign met with moderate success; now I'm calling for the Return of the Dumpling.

The stew: in a large pot, brown about a kilogram of flour-dusted cubed topside steak in batches. Remove. Fry three chopped onions in the same pan until transparent. Add four medium carrots chopped into rounds, two chopped celery sticks, a bay leaf, two sprigs of fresh thyme and two cups each of beef stock and dark beer. Bring to the boil, add a tablespoon each of brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce, add the meat back to the pot and simmer for two hours. Easy.

The dumplings: Rub 30 grams of butter into a mixture of a cup of self-raising flour and 50 grams of dried breadcrumbs. Add two teaspoons of mustard seeds and a tablespoon of chopped fresh combined parsley and thyme. Now add five to six tablespoons of water, mix to a soft dough and divide into eight balls. Add to stew pot twenty minutes prior to end of cooking time. That's not hard, either.

Serve with creamy mashed potatoes, or are mashed potatoes getting boring?

Drink a nice shiraz or merlot. Red wine will never get boring.


Carmen in Canada said...

Mmmmm...that sounds really good! It's the middle of summer here in Canada, but I think I might just have to make this dish anyways, even in the heat of summer! (AND, since I planted a herb garden as well as vegetables this year, I can get the herbs and vegies all from my own backyard!)

Jeanne said...

I must say, I never met a dumpling I didn't like ;-) These sound marvellous, and with the "summer" weather we've been having here in London, I think I may have to try them soon...

becky said...

We're all about "Chicken n' Dumplings" here in the southern US. Your dumpling campaign would be a hit here. The idea of beef with dumplings...well, is that even an option? I'm willing to try and find out.

Ed said...

Dumplings are just fine but be careful when you get to Faggots (as in meaballs for international readers) bearing in mind the current rumpus. Yes, I think you got the Brussels Sprouts there - they are on all sorts of smart menus in restaurants now and some more modest like mine. Last night: friend in walnut oil, with pinenuts, bacon, chcikpeas and sumak and a sausage.

Carmen in Canada said...

Note to Ed: Huh?
Maybe it's a little too early in the morning.....but your comment makes no sense at all.

lucette said...

At our house, mashed potatoes can never be boring! Or dumplings either.