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    Heston's traditional minced beef and dumplings

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    Heston's traditional minced beef and dumplings

    “ Big-flavoured and deeply comforting — the perfect dish for autumn. This recipe is full of little techniques that help intensify the flavours, and it can be prepared up to step 3 a day ahead.” Heston

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes plus resting and cooling
    • Cooking time: 180 minutes
    • Total time: 3 hours 30 minutes, plus resting and cooling 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 30 minutes

    Serves: 6


    2 tbsp groundnut oil
    450g pack Waitrose British Beef Shin & Bone Marrow
    400g pack lean beef mince
    300ml red wine
    2 x 200g packs Heston from Waitrose Finishing Jus for Beef
    1 Cooks’ Ingredients Organic Bouquet Garni
    2 star anise
    2 onions, thinly sliced
    2 carrots, thinly sliced
    200g button mushrooms, quartered
    70g tomato purée
    250g Cooks’ Ingredients Soffritto Passata
    15g Dijon mustard
    ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
    2 tsp Geo Watkins Mushroom Ketchup
    Thyme sprigs, curly parsley and chives, to finish

    For the dumplings:

    175g self-raising flour
    2 sprigs thyme, leaves only
    10g chives
    10g curly parsley leaves
    2 tbsp Dijon mustard
    1 tsp salt
    Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
    90g shredded suet
    50ml whole milk
    2½ tbsp unsalted butter


    1. Preheat the oven to 120ºC, gas mark ½. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large flameproof casserole, add the diced shin and marrowbone and cook for 3–5 minutes, until nicely browned. Lift out and set aside.

    2. Remove excess oil from the pan, leaving a thin layer. Add the mince and cook for 3–4 minutes, stirring until browned. Lift out and set aside.

    3. Pour the red wine into the pan, bring to a simmer then ignite with a blowtorch (or boil for 5 minutes to evaporate the alcohol). Stir in the jus, beef, bouquet garni, 1 star anise and enough water to just cover (about 300ml). Bring to a simmer, cover and bake for 2 hours or until the shin meat is falling apart. Leave to cool completely. Remove the star anise, marrowbone and bouquet garni. Shred the shin meat.

    4. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a separate pan and gently cook the onion and remaining star anise for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the carrots and continue to cook until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for 1–2 minutes then stir in the tomato purée and cook for 5 minutes until the mixture turns bright red. Add the passata, simmer gently for 10 minutes then set aside to cool. Remove the star anise.

    5. To make the dumplings, mix the flour, thyme leaves, freshly chopped chives and parsley, mustard, salt and lemon zest in a stand-up mixer using the dough hook until it forms a fine crumb. Add suet and milk and mix until the dough just comes together. Allow to stand, covered, for 30 minutes. Roll into 24 even-sized balls.

    6. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Stir the cooked vegetables into the casserole along with the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, mushroom ketchup, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    7. Heat the butter in a pan until sizzling then cook the dumplings for 2–3 minutes until golden. Lay them on top of the casserole, pressing down gently. Bake for 25–30 minutes until the dumplings are cooked and the casserole is heated through. Finish with thyme leaves and freshly chopped parsley and chives.

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