Thursday, 6 January 2011

Ancestry with Stew and Dumplings

What a fabulous start to 2011! I originally thought I was 100 per cent from Berkshire, England, but it turns out that one half of me is from Oxford! I have discovered that my great great granddad owned a pub called The Kite Inn in Osney (Botley) and my other relatives on my Mum's side are spread out across Oxford town and the suburb of Summertown. I have a lot more to find out as I only know the addresses, not stories behind the walls but I now have starting points and my family history is expanding which is fascinating. All of this has made me quite nostalgic of my childhood, of old times and memories. By remembering old times and memories; this normally leads me to food. Now, this following recipe does not leave me very often so please take care of it when you use it. Please see below the recipe for my Mum's beloved stew:


Lamb- enough for 4 people (ask your butcher for boneless stew meat)
or a cheaper option of:
Beef (use beef shin- it melts in the mouth after a few hours of cooking)

2 Onions (however small or large you like)
3 large Carrots (large chunks- looks prettier cut on the diagonal)
2 sticks of Celery (small slices)
Potatoes (bit bigger than the carrots)
Bouquet Garni (Bay, Thyme, Rosemary or whatever herbs you like tied in a string)
Any other Vegetables left over (Mushroom, butternut squash, sweet potato i.e make the stew your own!)
Secret Ingredient: Mint Jelly!
Salt and Pepper
600 ml Stock (either fresh or from a jelly stock cube)
Glass of Red Wine
Few handfuls Flour
Few tablespoons Oil to brown meat off
Chutney's to add taste and thicken (whatever you have in the cupboard)

200g Self Raising Flour
100g Suet
1/4 teaspoon Salt
150ml very cold water (use from a run tap)


  • Pre-heat a low temp oven (160 degrees centigrade or 170 degrees centigrade or gas mark 3).
  • Put oil in roasting dish. Dust all pieces of meat and fry off about 10 pieces at a time. Do not put any pieces on top of each other because they will braise rather than fry.
  • Once all pieces have browned off on all sides, drain fat and remaining oil left in dish.
  • Add all vegetables, herbs, salt and pepper, mint jelly and chutney's and the finally the stock and glass of red wine. It shouldn't cover the ingredients.
  • Add lid to roasting dish. Stir after 2 hours and add more stock if necessary.
  • Cook for a total of no less than 3 hours and no more than 4.
  • Mix flour, suet, salt and water and use Butter knife (rounded edge) to bring together quickly. 
  • Form into golf size balls and put on top of stew (just before it's ready to serve).
  • Cook for 20 mins and the stew and dumplings will be ready!
Enjoy with a glass of red wine on a cold evening!

No comments:

Post a Comment