Hits 6235 | Created 2008-02-11 | Modified 2008-02-11
A very rich and comforting stew for those long winter months. I like it made just like this Ė with butter instead of oil, thick and rich. You can use half the amount of corn flour if you donít like it that thick, and oil if you like. Takes about 2 hours cooking, 15-20 mins prep time. Serves about 4.
2 x Large potatoes
1 x Large onion
1 x Medium sized parsnip
8 x Medium sized mushrooms (as many as you like really)
1 x Packet of dried porcini mushrooms
2 x Tsp corn flour
1 x Vegetable stock cube or power (enough for about 1 x pint)
1 x Tsp dried marjoram
1 x Tsp dried rosemary
1 x Tsp dried sage (or use the traditional thyme-rosemary-sage mix)
2 x Bay leaves
Some oil or butter for frying
Salt to taste (depends on your stock)
Black pepper, course ground to taste
2 x Cups self-raising flour (just double the amounts for more dumplings!)
1 x Cup vegetarian suet
Pre-heat oven to 180oC
Note, exact amounts arenít very important and you can use any root vegetables. Just ensure they are all cut up to be about the same size and you have enough ingredients to fill a casserole / oven-proof dish. You should have enough stock to just about cover the vegetables and mushrooms.
Pour boiling water on dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl.
Chop and start to boil the potatoes, parsnips and other root vegetables into roughly similar shapes (if too big youíll be waiting for hours for them to cook).
Whilst they are boiling fry the onion in the oil at a medium-high heat. When the onions start to change colour, add the mushrooms and cook until they start to brown a little.
After the root vegetables have been boiling for a few minutes (donít cook them completely!) drain some of the water off to leave them just covered, then add the porcini, onions and other mushrooms. Also add the herbs and stock. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the mix into an over-proof dish with a lid. Cook for an hour.
Remove from oven. Remove the bay leaves. Mix the corn flour in a small dish with a little bit of cold water until smooth. Add to the stew and mix. Put back in the oven, turn it down to 170oC and cook for 30 more minutes, or until vegetables are cooked and the sauce is thick.
Make the dumplings Ė in a bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Add a tablespoon of water at a time until you can make a thick dough with a fork. Using floured hands divide it into portions (like the size of a tangerine). Remove the lid from the stew and place the dumplings on the top, floating.
Put the casserole back in the oven without the lid and cook for about another 30 minutes, or until the dumplings are golden and cooked (you can put the lid back on if they seem to be browning too quickly)
(Dumplings note: as they take literally a couple of minutes to make, if it looks like you donít have enough, just make some more and pop them in!)