Thursday, May 31, 2012

Leftover Roast Beef Stew with Dumplings

Once in a while I like to have a nice stew instead of stir fry with a leftover roast.  I had about a pound of meat left so I diced up an onion and got it frying.  While that cooked I sliced the roast thinly then into 1 inch strips.  When the onions were golden I took them out of the pan and put in the meat.  When the meat had seared a bit I took it out.  Next I sweated the carrots, turnips and celery.  When those were starting to turn translucent I added a tablespoon of flour and stirred it in.  Next I put the onions and meat back in and added a liter of beef stock.   It sounds like a lot of work putting everything in and out of the pan but it develops flavor in the pan better than just adding stock. I also noticed that the sweated turnip cooked in only a few minutes instead of the usual 50 minutes boiling takes. At this point I added 1/4 cup of pearl barley, a couple of bay leaves and several potatoes diced up.

When the stock was bubbling happily I added some frozen peas and beans to the pot.  While the veggies were cooking I mixed up some dumpling batter.  An egg plus milk to make 1/2 a cup, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt and a cup of flour.  I had too much flour so I ended up with a dough instead of batter but I sliced it up and put the pieces in the pot anyway.  With the lid on the slowly simmering pot they should take 10 minutes to cook.  No peeking. 

I guess they look a little like frankendumplings but they were fairly fluffy inside. I've never liked dumplings but that could be because I've never had really good ones.  These tasted ok but I didn't put any flavor in them so they were much like a heavy bread. They are promising enough that I will try again and I'll put some real flavor in them. Hopefully I'll get the batter correct next time. The stew was good but not fantastic. The seasoning that was on the meat together with the flavor of the fresh ingredients were not enough the lift the dish up.  Next time I'll come up with some kind of herb or spice for the other flavors to stand on.

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