Dice the beef into bite sized pieces. if you’re trying to stretch the meat to feed more people, cut the pieces slightly smaller.
Place the meat in a bowl and add the flour and salt. Toss together to coat evenly.
Place a heavy bottomed frying pan onto a medium high heat. When hot, add the oil and spread around the pan.
Then add the beef in a single, even layer. Let the beef sit there for a few minutes before turning, so it can get a nice dark sear on the meat. You may need to sear it in batches.
Add to the slow cooker pan when all sides are seared.
Place the frying pan back on the heat and pour the water in too.
Using a wooden spoon or spatula, scrape up all the meaty bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan.
When the base is clean, pour this flavourful beef stock into the slow cooker too.
Pour in the Guinness.
Then add the chopped mushrooms, onions and garlic.
To cook for 3-4 hours: set the slow cooker to high.
To cook for 6-8 hours: set the slow cooker to low.
Avoid lifting the slow cooker lid for at least the first 2 hours to give it time to heat up sufficiently to slow cook the meat and make it really tender. After the first 2 hours you may lif the lid occasionally to stir and check on the contents if you wish.
The dumplings will take about 30 minutes to cook if your slow cooker is set to high, and about 60 minutes if your slow cooker is set to low.
So start making them either 30 or 60 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
Please note: if you make them too far ahead of time, the baking powder will activate too early, meaning that the dumplings won’t plump up in the stew as well as you’d hoped.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, suet, cold water and chopped wild garlic together.
Bring together into a slightly sticky dough.
Wet your hands in cold water, them divide and shape the dough into 8 evenly sized balls.
Give the stew a good stir, then pop the dumplings on top of the stew and replace the lid.
Continue cooking for the rest of the cooking time or until the dumplings have plumped up and cooked right the way through.
Please enjoy my recipe! Jane | hedgecombers.com