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    Casserole of Beef in Chianti with Fresh Herb Dumplings

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    Casserole of Beef in Chianti with Fresh Herb Dumplings

    Long slow cooking and plenty of red wine give this casserole a full, rounded flavour that makes it the perfect antidote to a freezing night. Light, fluffy dumplings add the finishing touch.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 150 minutes
    • Total time: 2 hours 45 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 45 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 4 tbsp plain flour
    • 2 tsp cracked black peppercorns
    • 2 x 500g packs Waitrose British or Hereford Diced Braising Steak
    • 5 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 75cl bottle Chianti
    • 2 fresh bay leaves, torn
    • ½ pack Waitrose Fresh Thyme, roughly chopped
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 142ml carton soured cream
    • For the dumplings:
    • 125g self-raising flour
    • 50g shredded suet
    • 1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh parsley


    1. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Mix together the flour and pepper on a plate, then add the beef and coat evenly.
    2. Heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a large casserole dish. Add the meat in batches and fry over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until browned, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Put the cooked meat on a plate - keep separate from the raw meat. (The bottom of the pan will have a crust, which will dissolve when the wine is added.)
    3. Add the remaining oil, the onions and garlic to the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes to soften. Start adding the wine, gradually scraping the residue from the base of the pan as you do so. When all the wine has been added, return the meat to the pan with the bay leaves and thyme and season with salt. Cover and place on the middle shelf of the oven for 2 hours, or until the meat is tender.
    4. Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Mix together the flour, suet, parsley and seasoning and add enough water to make an elastic, pliable dough, which is quite wet without being too sticky. With floured hands roll mixture into 8 balls.
    5. Add the dumplings 30 minutes before the end of cooking time, by dropping them on top of the meat, then replace the lid and continue to cook, covered.
    6. Remove the dumplings and keep warm. Stir the soured cream into the casserole, then serve with the dumplings and a green vegetable, such as broccoli or spinach.

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