Beef & Ale Stew with Herby Dumplings

Main courseServes 4

A hearty, full flavoured stew perfect for when the nights are drawing in and comfort food is very much needed, this tasty family favourite from the team at Thixendale based Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil will be on repeat throughout autumn and winter. For more recipe inspiration and to buy their award-winning range online visit


3 tbsp Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil
500g diced beef – shin, skirt or leg

1 tsp dried mixed herbs
Salt and pepper

1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bulb fennel, roughly chopped
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks

2 tbsp plain flour

300ml beef stock
1 tbsp tomato puree
300ml Wold Top Shepherd’s Watch Ale


For the dumplings

150g self-raising flour 70g suet
1 tsp mixed herbs Salt and pepper Water


  1. Start by heating your Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil in a casserole dish on the hob on a high heat, add your beef, season well and sprinkle over 1⁄2 tsp dried mixed herbs. Stir on the heat until browned, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Turn up to a medium heat, add another tbsp Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil and start to fry off your onions. Once your onions start to soften, add in your garlic and cook for a further minute. Add in your fennel, carrots, remaining 1⁄2 tsp dried mixed herbs and fry for 5 minutes, stirring to make sure the ingredients don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add your beef back into the pan.
  3. Sprinkle your flour over the mixture and stir through until fully combined. Pour in the beef stock and stir. Add the tomato puree and mix into the stew, finally slowly pour in your ale.
  4. This may appear to produce a thin gravy to start, but it will reduce and thicken up, intensifying the flavours as the stew cooks.
  5. Pop a lid onto your casserole dish and simmer on a very low heat for 1.5 hours, alternatively if you prefer cook in a low temperature oven for the same amount of time. Whilst this is cooking you can make your dumplings.
  6. To make your dumplings, mix your flour, suet and mixed herbs in a large bowl and season well. Make a well in the centre of your mix and add a little water. Use a knife to bring together the mix and form a dough, continue to add more water until the dough is firm but pliable. Use the dough to make 8 evenly sized balls. These can be kept in the fridge until needed.
  7. Once the stew has had about 1.5 hours cooking time, lift the lid and place your dumplings into the now thickened stew. Place the lid back on and cook for another 30 minutes.
  8. Serve with mashed potato and sautéed greens.