Beef Stew With Newcastle Brown Ale and Dumplings

Beef stew with herb dumplings
Norman Hollands / Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total: 2 hrs 50 mins
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
920 Calories
30g Fat
97g Carbs
66g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 920
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 38%
Saturated Fat 14g 69%
Cholesterol 147mg 49%
Sodium 1503mg 65%
Total Carbohydrate 97g 35%
Dietary Fiber 9g 33%
Protein 66g
Calcium 691mg 53%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A hearty beef stew is a comforting dish that's welcome on a chilly evening, and when it's enriched with brown ale and topped with dumplings, it's even more satisfying. The beer makes for a robust gravy, and the dumplings offer a wonderful contrast in texture. This stew recipe from Jamie Oliver's "Happy Days With the Naked Chef" includes pancetta, red onions, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and celery, along with rosemary as the prevailing herb. You may substitute another dark beer for the Newcastle Brown ale if you like, and the dumplings are optional. 


  • For the Stew:
  • 2 pounds plus 3 ounces shin of beef (or use flank or neck), chopped into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 red onions, peeled, halved, and roughly sliced
  • 1 3/4 ounces pancetta (or bacon), chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 small handful of rosemary leaves
  • 5 cups Newcastle Brown ale (or other dark ale)
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • For the Dumplings:
  • 1 3/4 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and chopped

Steps to Make It

Make the Stew

  1. Place the beef on a plate and sprinkle with the flour, salt, and pepper; toss until well coated.

  2. Heat up a frying pan until it is good and hot, add the olive oil, and fry the beef in 2 batches until nice and brown.

  3. Transfer the meat to a Dutch oven or big casserole dish that is suitable to go on a stovetop burner; add any flour left on the plate.

  4. Place over medium heat, add the red onions and pancetta, and cook until the onions are translucent and the pancetta has a bit of color.

  5. Add the celery and rosemary.

  6. Pour in the ale and water, and add the parsnips, carrots, and potatoes.

  7. Bring to a boil, put on the lid, turn down the heat, and leave to simmer while you make the dumplings.

Make the Dumplings

  1. Add the dumpling ingredients to a blender or food processor and mix until a breadcrumb consistency is reached (you can also place the ingredients in a bowl and rub the ingredients between your fingers). Add just enough water to make a dough that is not sticky.

  2. Divide the dough into Ping-Pong ball sized dumplings.

Finish the Stew

  1. Drop the dumplings into the stew, pressing down to submerge them. Put the lid on the pot and cook for 2 hours.

  2. Taste, season with salt and pepper if needed, and serve hot with some greens and crusty bread to mop up the juices.

  3. Enjoy.

Recipe Source: "Happy Days With the Naked Chef" by Jamie Oliver (Hyperion)
Reprinted with permission.

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