Thursday, 11 November 2010

Winter Warmer Scotch Beef Stew with Doughballs

Unfortunately, Winter is really starting to bite here in the West of Scotland, just as it is in so many other locales in the Northern Hemisphere. This means that it is very much time to start thinking about dinner recipes that will warm the heart as well as the belly and provide some protection against the often numbing cold. This stew recipe is one which is made regularly in Scotland...but it is not usually accompanied by doughballs! Potatoes would be the usual accompaniment to this dish, whereas doughballs (flour and suet dumplings) are more often seen as an integral part of the dish, Mince, Tatties and Doughballs.

As usual in beef stews, I have used shin of beef in this recipe, as I believe it enhances the ultimate flavour. If you want to use an alternative cut of beef, however, you can of course reduce the required cooking time.

Ingredients per Person

1/2lb shin of beef
2 beef link sausages
1 large carrot
1 medium onion
2 pints of fresh beef stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp self-raising flour
2 tsp beef suet
3 tsp cold water
Pinch of salt


The shin of beef will take at least an hour and a half and ideally a couple of hours to cook. It should firstly be browned in a dry pot before the heated stock is added. The stock should be brought to a simmer and left for an hour and a half. The sausages and the chopped carrot and onion should then be added for the final half hour of the allotted cooking time.

The doughballs can be prepared when the beef links and vegetables have been added to the stew. The flour, beef suet and salt should be combined in a small bowl. Three teaspoonfuls of water should then be added and used to mix a firm dough. Be careful not to add too much water, or the dough will not be capable of being formed into balls. If the mix is too wet, simply add a little more flour.

When the dough is mixed, it should simply be spooned on to the top of the stew to cook for the final twenty minutes or so. This quantity will be enough to make three or four approximate ball shapes. The doughballs can be rolled properly in to small balls but I prefer the rustic look.

When the stew is ready, the doughballs should carefully be removed with a slotted spoon to a small plate. The stew can then be spooned in to a serving dish and the doughballs added on top. Serve immediately, with optional HP Sauce.

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