Okay, this week’s goal in the house is to serve a nutritious and tasty meal every day of the week without returning to the supermarket.
Doesn’t sound hard? No, it probably isn’t for most people but I somehow find myself only ever having enough food in the house for a couple of meals, then I scrape something together, then I need to go to the supermarket again. It’s not a HUGE issue, but I find we spend a lot more on 3-4 trips to the shops than we do when I can be organised enough to do one and do it well.
So tonight, beef stew in the slow cooker. It was a bit of a ‘throw together’ but my recipe looks like this.
Sailor Vee’s Magic Beef Stew and Hell-Yeah Dumplings
- 700gram – 1kg budget beef steak, diced/cubed (less meat would be fine if you up the vegetables)
- 1 x large onion, finely diced
- 3 x large carrots, chopped into rounds
- 1 x sweet potato, cubed
- 2 x waxy potatoes (chat/coliban etc), cubed
- 2 x celery stalks, chopped
- ¼ cup port/red wine (no worries if you omit this)
- Squirt (hmm, maybe it’s a couple of tablespoons) of a tomato paste.
- 1 tbs dried mixed Italian herbs (or be fancy and use fresh basil and oregano)
- 1 x sachet Cream of Mushroom cup-a-soup mix
- Water to top up
- 2 cups self raising flour
- 75 grams butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (I used dried)
- 3/4 cup milk
- Finely chop onion and all vegies as described.
- Dice the meat. You are probably supposed to pre-brown the meat. I never do. It’s fine.
- Throw all of the meat and vegies into the slow cooker pot. Throw in the wine/port etc. Squirt in the tomato paste. Sprinkle over the herbs. Stir thoroughly to coat everything.
- Top up with water until it JUST covers the meat. Remember that liquids don’t evaporate off in a slow cooker so too much liquid now is too much at serving time.
- Combine well then place lid on and cook on High for 4 or 8 hours on low.
- At any point after the first couple of hours, sprinkle in the cup-a-soup and stir well
- About 45 minutes before you want to serve, start making the dumplings. The dumplings will need to cook on high, so if you have the slow cooker on low, change it to high now.
- To make the dumplings – add salt to the flour and then rub the butter in until it looks crumbly.
- Add the parsley and pour in milk to combine into a dough. Roll into balls – mine were about the size of a golf ball.
- Pop the dough balls onto the surface of your stew, evenly spacing them around the pot
- Get a piece of cooking/baking paper and spray one side with spray oil/cooking spray. Lay this across the top of your slow cooker pot (oiled side down) and put the lid back on. I honestly have no idea what this does. But my research kept saying to do it, so I did. Feel free to let me know!
- Chill out for 45 minutes.
- Serve dinner. Wait for first bite to hear rapturous applause from your loved ones. Even if it’s a grumbled ‘thanks Mum’. If there is no thanks (grumbled or otherwise) deliver a swift stern Mum-face and remind them. Do this each meal that you prepare until you can make them do it by raising an eyebrow. You deserve thanks.