Slow cooker Lamb stew and dumplings is a hearty, tasty and very simple comfort food dish!
Preparation time 20-30 minutes.
Cooking time min. 4 hours.
Serves 2-4 (depending on how hungry you are!).
Slow cooker Lamb Stew and Dumplings – what you need:
For the stew:
Slow cooker or large saucepan with lid.
Large non-stick frying pan.
1 lb / approx. 500g of diced lamb shoulder (no smaller than 3-4 cm cubes – ask your butcher for this if you can’t get it at the supermarket counter).
2 x Banana Shallots (peeled and quartered).
2 x Garlic Cloves (whole and simply squashed under the heel of your hand to release the flavour).
1/2 pint / approx. 280 ml of good quality red wine.
1 x Beef stock pot/cube.
1/4 pint / approx. 140 ml water.
1/2 tin of chopped tomatoes.
2 x medium sized white potatoes (cut into approx. 1cm cubes).
2 x medium sized carrots (cut into approx. 1cm cubes/pieces).
Drizzle of olive oil.
1 tbs plain flour.
For the dumplings:
50g of vegetable suet.
100g self raising flour.
5 tbs approx. of cold water (or enough to make a firm but pliable dough).
Pinch of salt.
1 x sprig of Rosemary (finely chopped – make sure to remove the stalk first!).
Slow cooker Lamb Stew and Dumplings – what you need to do:
1. Sear the meat. Get the non-stick frying pan nice and hot on the hob and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the diced lamb shoulder, a good pinch salt and pepper and then sprinkle the plain flour over the meat until all the meat is covered. Cook for 2-3 minutes (turning regularly) or until the meat has browned slightly and the flour has been absorbed.
2. Whilst the meat is browning, add all the other stew ingredients apart from the potatoes and carrots (as prepared above) into the slow cooker or saucepan and turn on to a very low heat.
3. Add the meat to the other ingredients in the pot and put the lid on. You can leave the stew to simmer gently for anywhere between 4-8 hours and the meat will be lovely and tender. 6 hours should be optimum for this recipe as this will allow enough time for the meat to be very tender and succulent but not breaking up into tiny pieces.
4. One hour before serving, add the diced potatoes and carrots into the stew and turn up the heat on the slow cooker to high or a medium heat on the hob.
5. Now prepare the dumplings: mix the self raising flour, vegetable suet, salt and water together in a bowl until a soft, sticky dough has formed. Divide the mixture into 6 or 8 loosely rounded balls and dip one side of each dumpling into some of the finely chopped rosemary.
Tip: don’t make the dumplings too compact as this will increase the cooking time and make them too hard rather than soft and fluffy.
6. Add the dumplings, rosemary side down, into the stew and replace the lid ensuring it is on firmly. Cook for 45-60 mins on the increased heat setting until the dumplings have expanded and the dough is firm.
7. Once cooking time is up, remove the lid and turn the dumplings over so the other side can get to the juices. Taste the stew liquid (carefully!) and season to your preference if necessary. The liquid should be gravy consistency i.e. not too runny and full of flavour.
Tip: if you find the liquid too runny you can leave the lid off and cook further or add a spoon of corn flour mixed with a little water to the stew.
8. Serve and enjoy!
As always, any questions please let me know and I look forward to hearing your feedback. The Food Beaver.