How to make... Simon Wood's Beef Stew & Suet Dumplings

A true classic that makes you feel warm and cosy inside.

By Manchester's Finest | 14 April 2020

Share this story

I had this the other day and it is amazing. Nothing makes me feel proper cosy and happy like a huge bit of stew and dumplings – especially when you’re eating it at night with a tin of Stella and the telly on.

Simon Wood has created this recipe here for us – there’s a lot of ingredients and it takes a while but it is SO WORTH IT!

Image: Unilever Food Solutions


Simon’s Beef Stew & Suet Dumplings

Ingredients for the Beef Stew

– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 25g butter
– 750g beef braising steak, chopped into bite-sized pieces
– 2 tbsp cornflour
– 4 garlic cloves, crushed
– 2 onions, chopped
– 4 sticks celery cut into large chunks
– 4 carrots, peeled & cut into large chunks
– 1 leek, chopped into 1-inch rounds
– 1 small swede peeled & cut into chunks
– 150ml red wine
– 500ml beef stock
– 4 fresh bay leaves
– 6 sprigs of fresh thyme chopped
– 1 sprig of rosemary chopped
– 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
– Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the Beef Suet Dumplings

– 250g plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 130g beef suet
– water, to make a dough
– A pinch of salt


1. Preheat your oven to 160C

2. For the beef stew, heat your oil and butter in an ovenproof casserole dish and fry the beef over a high flame until brown in colour on all sides.

3. Dust over the cornflour and cook gently for a further 5 minutes before seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then add the garlic, herbs and all of your vegetables fry for a further 4 minutes.

4. Pour in the wine and reduce by half, before adding in your beef stock then add the Worcestershire sauce to taste.

5. Cover with a lid, add put into the oven and cook for about 3 hours.

6. For the dumplings, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add the suet and enough water to form a thick dough.

7. With floured hands, roll spoonful’s of the dough into small balls about the size of a ping pong ball

8. After 2½ hours, remove the lid from the stew and place the balls on the top of it leaving a little gap between each one so they can expand cover and cook for a further 30 minutes.

9. Serve with Either Mash, Chips, or Boiled potatoes.