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3 tbsp olive oil
800g braising steak or beef shin, in small chunks
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp flour
250ml beef stock
2 bay leaves
For the dumplings
1 tbsp chopped parsley, basil and thyme
150g self-raising flour
75g suet (vegetarian or beef)
1 pinch sea salt
Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large casserole dish. Pat the cubes of meat dry with a paper towel and season, then add half to the hot oil. Brown all over, then remove with a slotted spoon onto a plate. Pour any excess juice into a measuring jug so the dish is dry, then add more oil and repeat with the second batch of meat.
Once all the meat has been browned and the pan emptied, add 1 tbsp of oil and set over a medium heat. Fry the onion until soft, then add the carrots and parsnips, along with the garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes. Season well.
Sprinkle the flour into the pan and stir until all the ingredients are well coated. Pour in the Guinness (it will froth up nicely), followed by any meat juices saved in step 1. Return the meat to the pan and top up with the stock so the ingredients are nicely covered. Stir in the bay leaves and cover with the lid. Bring to the boil, then place the
dish into the oven and cook for 2 hours.
Towards the end of cooking, make the dumplings. Add the herbs to a bowl along with the flour, suet and salt. Add 4-5 tablespoons of cold water and stir until a thick dough forms. Divide into 8 balls and chill in the fridge until needed.
When the 2 hours are up, remove the lid from the stew and arrange the dumplings on the top. Cover with the lid and bake for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake for a further 10 minutes to allow the tops of the dumplings to brown. Serve with buttery mashed potato and steamed greens.
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