Beef Stew with Dumplings

This beef stew with mushrooms, dumplings and sour cream is a substantial and satisfying main dish. Serve it with a green vegetable salad and French bread.



  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 pounds (1kg) stewing steak, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 ounce (30g) (2 tablespoons) butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons brandy, warmed (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pints (5 cups) homemade beef stock
  • 6 ounces (185g) mushrooms, wiped clean
  • 5 fluid ounce (150ml) (5/8 cup) sour cream


  • 8 ounces (1/2 pound) breadcrumbs made from day-old white bread
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace


  1. Heat the oven to warm 325 degrees F (170 degrees C).
  2. Mix the flour, salt and pepper together on a large plate. Roll the beef cubes in the flour mixture until they are lightly coated.
  3. In a large frying pan heat the butter and oil over moderate heat. add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it is soft and translucent. With a slotted spoon, remove the onion and set aside on a plate. Add the beef cubes to the pan, a few at a time. Brown them well, adding more oil and butter if necessary. Remove the beef cubes as they brown and place them in a large ovenproof casserole. If you are using the brandy, put it in a metal ladle. Set it alight and pour it, still burning, over the beef cubes in the casserole. When the brandy has stopped burning, add the onion to the casserole with the bay leaf and stock. Cover the casserole and place in the oven to cook for 2 hours.
  4. While the meat is cooking, make the dumplings. Put the breadcrumbs into a large mixing bowl. add the water, a little at a time, and toss lightly with a fork. the breadcrumbs should be just moistened, not soggy. Still using the fork, lightly mix in the eggs. add the salt, pepper, parsley, onion and mace. With floured hands, shape the mixture into walnut sized balls. add the dumplings to the casserole, with the mushrooms, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Spoon over the sour cream just before serving.

Serves 4.

From the kitchen of Martin James – Copenhagen, Denmark.