250 g self-raising flour
125 g butter, really cold
freshly ground black pepper
• Preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5
Put your flour into a mixing bowl
Using a coarse grater, grate your cold butter into the flour
Add a pinch of salt and pepper
Using your fingers, gently rub the butter into the flour until it begins to resemble breadcrumbs
Add a splash of cold water to help bind it into a dough
Divide the dough into 24 pieces and gently roll each into a round dumpling. The dumplings will suck up quite a bit of moisture so if your stew looks dry - add a cup of boiling water and give it a good stir
Place the dumplings on top of your fully cooked stew and press down lightly so that they're half submerged
Cook in the oven or on the hob over a medium heat with the lid on for 30 minutes
Click here for the Beef and Ale stew recipe.
The perfect ceramic mixing bowl for making dumplings
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If you ask me, it ain't a stew without good-old, fluffy, doughy dumplings like these!
BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH
Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.
When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.
For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:
Marine Stewardship Council