Beef Casserole with Parmesan Dumplings

I had some friends to dinner the other night and I was keen on making steak and kidney with steamed dumplings.  We used to have it as a kid and I loved it.  I have been thinking about it all winter.  I liked the bits of kidney the best.  I remember my mum being amused by me picking out the kidney and eating it first.

Maus wasn’t keen.  “You sure you want to put kidney in it?”, she asked nervously.

I checked out my cookbooks and the web for steak and kidney recipes and they were all pretty bland, to say the least.  Then I came across this recipe.  At first I thought it was a compromise: no kidney to put people off but still a nice old-fashioned recipe.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realised it was a total cop out.  The casserole was a rich, luscious, beef burgundy and the dumplings were really cheese scones.  There was nothing old fashion about it at all.  It was much more flash.

I am not going to give up on the steak and kidney idea.  I am going to make individual steak and kidney pies.  I don’t like big pies without a base, it just doesn’t seem right so today I ordered individual pie dishes from Peter’s of Kensington.  Next winter, I will be ready to make individual steak and kidney pies in my nice new dishes.

This recipe is from taste.com.au  The original recipe served 4 but I was feeding 6 and I wanted the dish to look generous so I decided to double the recipe.  It was way too much.  I also doubled the dumpling ingredients but that was too much even for the doubled meat.  I didn’t even use all the mixture.  The quantities I have given here are double the casserole ingredients and one and half times the original dumpling recipe.  It should be the right amount of dumplings for this much meat.

These quantities will easily serve 10.

Ingredients

Casserole:

  • 2kg beef (topside, chuck, blade, etc), cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 12 bacon rashers, chopped
  • 1kg button mushrooms, halved
  • 8 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 tbs* plain flour
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 500mls red wine
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 6 bay leaves

*These are 20ml tablespoons.

Dumplings:

  • 75g butter
  • 450g self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup parmesan
  • 280mls milk

  1. Heat some olive oil in a large frypan or casserole dish and brown the meat in batches.  This is a terrible job but it is important that you don’t crowd the pan.  Brown a few pieces at a time.  Put the browned meat in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Clean the pan (if using for your casserole).
  3. Add some olive oil to a large casserole dish.
  4. Add the chopped onions and cook for a few minutes.
  5. Add the bacon and the garlic and cook for a few extra minutes.
  6. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft.
  7. Stir in the plain flour, cook for 2 more minutes.
  8. Add the beef stock, the red wine, the thyme sprigs and the bay leaves.  Bring to the boil.
  9. Add the beef, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1½ hours.
    The casserole could also be cooked in the oven or a slow cooker.
  10. Preheat your oven to 200°C.
  11. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
  12. If your casserole dish has high sides, transfer the contents to a low ovenproof dish.
  13. In a separate bowl, rub the butter into the self-raising flour.  Stir in the parmesan.
  14. Add the milk until well combined.
  15. Place spoonfuls on the beef.
  16. Bake for 20 minutes.

4 thoughts on “Beef Casserole with Parmesan Dumplings

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