Beef stew in red wine with cheesy dumplings
INGREDIENTS 1kg beef chuck steak, trimmed, cut into 4cm pieces 2 tablespoons plain flour ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 2 carrots, chopped 2 celery stalks, chopped 1 large brown onion, chopped 2 dried bay leaves 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 cup red wine 400g can tomato puree 1 cup beef stock 3 sprigs fresh thyme Fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, to serve
CHEESY DUMPLINGS 1¼ cups self-rising flour ¾ cup cornmeal (pap, maize porridge, grits, polenta) 2 teaspoons baking powder 100g butter, melted, cooled 1 cup milk 1/3 cup grated tasty cheese
Coat beef in flour, shaking off excess. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy based flameproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add half the beef. Cook for 5 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with 1 tablespoon remaining oil and beef.
Heat remaining oil in same dish over high heat. Add carrot, celery, onion and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add garlic. Cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add wine. Simmer for 2 minutes.
Add tomato puree, stock and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Return beef to pan. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover with lid. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours or until beef is very tender.
Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced.
Meanwhile, make Cheesy Dumplings: Combine flour, polenta and baking powder in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Make a well in the centre. Add butter and milk. Mix well to combine.
Remove and discard bay leaves and thyme from stew. Place spoonfuls of dumpling mixture over stew. Cover with lid. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove lid. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake, uncovered, for a further 10 to 15 minutes or until dumplings are golden and cheese is melted. Stand for 5 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley.