Mince and Dumplings, North East Style
Mince and dumplings is a firm favourite in Northumberland, where I come from. I don’t know if it’s to ward off the winter chill, but hearty stews and recipes like mince and dumplings were very popular indeed with Geordies when I was growing up. It could also be due to the fact that it’s a delicious dinner that’s easy – as well as cheap – to make. Where does mince and dumplings come from? I’m not sure, but this is my recipe for mince and dumplings, North East Style. Or mince and dumplings Newcastle style, perhaps, if you’re from the Toon.
My young daughter is pretty darned fussy, but she loved the dumplings in particular. I’ve added extra veg to this mince and dumplings recipe to help make up your five a day. Plus, you can hardly tell you’re eating peas or green beans when they’re smothered in rich, flavoursome gravy. (Gravy rather than beef stock is used it is just the right thickness. That way it’s perfect every time.) The kind of veg I use is the frozen mixed vegetables mix containing peas, sweetcorn, green beans and cubed carrots.
I also took the liberty of adding lots of lovely mushrooms to this mince and dumpling recipe, as their flavour complements beef so well. Adding the veg in this way means there’s no need to add a separate serving of vegetables on the side – unless of course you want to.
Mince and dumplings ingredients
- Olive oil, for frying
- Red onion, 1, finely chopped
- Minced beef, 500g
- Beef gravy, 250ml
- Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp
- Tomato puree, 1 tbsp
- Bay leaf, fresh or dried, 1
- Mushrooms, any kind, a few, sliced
- Frozen mixed vegetables, 200g
- Self-raising flour, 200g
- Beef suet, 100g
- Salt, a pinch
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- Saucepan with lid
- Wooden spatula
How to make mince and dumplings, North East style
- Heat a splash of olive oil in a large saucepan (which has a lid) and add the onion, stirring, until it starts to turn clear.
- Add the mince and break up as you stir regularly. Keep stir-frying until it has all turned brown.
- Make up the beef gravy, then add to the pan, followed by the rest of the ingredients. You can add a little extra water at this time – if the dish seems too dry. Turn down to a low heat while you make the dumplings.
- This is how to make dumplings for mince. Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the suet and salt, plus 1 tbsp of cold water to the dish at a time, mixing well to make a soft dough. (You should will need around 3 tbsp of water.)
- Divide the dumpling dough into eight pieces, then place these on top of the mince mixture. How long do you cook dumplings for? Place the lid on top of the pan, then cook on a low heat for about 30 minutes – or until the dumplings are cooked through.
Serve this minced beef stew with dumplings just as it is, or with extra vegetables and mashed or roasted potatoes
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