Hey! So tonight… skinny beef and mushroom stew. Very tasty and really filling, because although it’s nearly May, it’s been hailing here and is around 2 degrees at night. So the winter comfort food isn’t redundant yet. Also, dumplings.

I really, really love dumplings and I’d eat them everyday if that was a thing. They soak up the beefy, tomato-y broth and warm you inside out. This stew also doesn’t feel that healthy – but it’s packed with veg, lean protein, and the dumplings give that slightly carb-y element. Kind of like a wholesome snuggle in a bowl.

It takes about two and a half hours to cook, and serves four.

This stew is really great for using up stuff left in the fridge – odds and ends of vegetables left over at the end of the week, for instance. This isn’t fancy cooking, but it’s a pretty good weekday meal. It can also be done in the slow cooker (see below!)


  • 200g lean diced beef with fat trimmed where possible
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 parsnip, chopped
  • 1 sliced celery stalk, chopped into 0.5cm chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 generous tablespoon flour
  • 1 tbsp herbs de provence
  • Few sprigs of thyme (just the leaves)
  • 1 beef stock pot (knorr) and 200ml water
  • Salt and Pepper

For the Dumplings:

  • 50g shredded vegetable suet
  • 100g self raising flour
  • Handful chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper


To start, preheat the over to around 160 degrees, and heat oil in a large casserole dish. Add the beef, and stir fry over a medium heat until just browned.

IMG_0829Add onion, parsnip, celery and pepper, stirring for around another minute. Toss in the garlic and herbs, and stir again, gently heating in the pan until it all starts to soften. Add mushrooms, and sprinkle flour over the top.

Stir everything together, add the chopped tomatoes, Worcester sauce, salt and pepper. Stir until it comes to the boil and add the stock. Bring to the boil, cover and pop in the oven, setting a timer for one hour.*

While that’s going on, have a nice glass of red, and make your dumplings. Toss the ingredients together in a bowl, and adding 1 tbsp of water at a time, start to combine the mixture. You should end up with a large ball of dough – it shouldn’t be too sticky, nor too dry (if it’s losing bits of flour and isn’t holding together as a ball, it might be a little dry.) Shape into around ten dumplings, and set aside.


At around one hour, check your stew and see if it needs liquid, and give it a good stir. Pop back in the oven for one hour.

Add the dumplings on top of the stew, and cook for around 20-30 minutes – they should be well risen, and golden brown.

Serve, possibly with a little mustard, and extra salt and pepper.

After you’ve eaten, you’ll probably fall into a coma on the sofa. No big deal, just make sure you don’t have anywhere to be.

This stew also works really well as leftovers – Olly has it for lunch sometimes, and if it’s been in the fridge or freezer you’ll just need to add a little water before heating on the hob. Beware though – the dumplings (and I don’t know the rules, strictly speaking) get tougher when reheated. To be honest I don’t even know if you’re supposed to freeze them, but I do, and it’s never been a problem for me.

Hope you enjoy it! If you do, let me know (also if you don’t – I like constructive criticism.)


*If you’re slow cooking, follow the recipe as stated up to this point, and then pop the mixture into a slow cooker. It’ll need around 8 hours on low, and occasional stirring. About an hour before you’re ready to eat, add the dumplings on top.

Skinny Beef and Mushroom Stew