Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
750 g (1½ lb) braising beef, trimmed of fat and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons plain flour
300 ml (2 pint) Burgundy red wine
300 ml (2 pint) beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato purée
2 bay leaves
150 g (5 oz) baby carrots, larger ones halved
250 g (8 oz) leeks, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
150 g (5 oz) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
75 g (3 oz) shredded suet
2 teaspoons creamed horseradish
3 tablespoons snipped chives
5-7 tablespoons water

Instructions

1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the beef a few pieces at a time until all the meat is in the pan.
2.Fry over a high heat until just beginning to brown, then add the onion and fry, stirring, for 5 minutes.
3.Stir in the garlic and flour, then gradually mix in the wine and stock. Add the tomato purée and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.
4.Bring te the boil, then transfer the mixture to the slow cooker pot. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 7-9 hours.
5.Stir the stew, then add the carrots, replace the lid and cook on high for 30-45 minutes.
6.Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Mix the flour, suet, horseradish, chives and salt and pepper together in a bowl
7.Stir in enough of the measurenment water to make a soft but not sticky dough. With floured hands, shape into 8 balls.
8.Stir the leeks into the stew, then add the dumplings, replace the lid and cook, still on high, for another 30-45 minutes or until the dumplings are light and fluffy.
9.Spoon into shallow dishes and serve, remembering to remove the bay leaves.
10.FOR GUINNESS BEEF STEW WITH MUSTARD DUMPLINGS, make up the stew as above, replacing the red wine with 300 ml (2 pint) Guinness or stout.
11.Top with dumplings made with 3 teaspoons wholegrain mustard instead of the creamed horeradish and chives.

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