Today’s recipe was inspired by a need to make use of a beer that is not quite to my taste. I was expecting something similar to my favourite tequila infused Cider (Savanna). What the Liberado beer didn’t do for me as a drink, it more than compensated for as an ingredient in my lamb stew (instead of stock or water) and in the dumplings. Winter is coming for us in the Southern Hemisphere, so I hope you will enjoy this very easy recipe in the months ahead. As usual, you can substitute with your favourite spices and vegetables within reason.
1kg lamb – cut in blocks (leave the fat on)
5 tablespoons of flour to coat the lamb
2 chopped onions
4 large tomatoes, finely chopped or pureed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1kg stew veg (I used baby marrow, aubergines, carrots, butternut)
340ml beer of your choice
Rosemary, basil & 3 bay leaves
Salt, pepper & additional spices to taste
3 cups flour (750 ml)
4 & a 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 340ml beer of your choice
1/2 cup *chopped cheese (I used Camembert & roquefort).
Chopped herbs to taste (I used rosemary & basil)
*Don’t grate the cheese. You want chunks that will form lovely gooey pockets in the dumplings
- Preferably use a large cast iron pot with enamel that you can take from stove-top to oven, like Le Creuset. The enamel is important because we have tomatoes in the recipe. Fry the chopped onion in one tablespoon of the oil, until just translucent & remove from pot for later use.
- Coat the lamb in flour and fry in the same put, making sure to brown each side well.
- Add the stew veg, onions, tomatoes, herbs, spices & beer. Cook over a medium heat for minimum 40 minutes or until the lamb is soft and the sauce has reduced by at least 1/3rd. Cooking times will vary depending on your pot and appliances.
- While the stew cooks, prepare the dumplings by sifting all dry ingredients into a large bowl.
- Tip the cheese in & add the beer last. Mix until the ingredients are just combined. Do not overmix as this will make the dumplings less fluffy.
- Once your stew stock is thickened, remove it from the heat. If you don’t have an over-safe handle on the pot like Le Creuset, you can transfer the stew to a large ceramic dish with a glass or ceramic lid.
- Spoon the dumplings on top of the stew. Put the lid on & bake at 180C for 30 minutes (which may vary according to your appliance).
- Test the dumplings at 30 minutes by inserting a knife into one. If the knife comes out clean, they are almost ready.
- At this stage you can serve the dish, but I like to brown the dumplings under the grill for 5 minutes for a nice golden brown crust.
Serve immediately with a garnish of rosemary.
Bon appetit! The aromas from the stew itself and the dumplings are out of this world. This dish tastes just as good the next day, in case you have any leftovers and want to reheat this for lunch at the office.