Beef Stew With Herbed Dumplings

Soups & Stews

Recipe courtesy of Lodge Cast Iron Nation, Great American Cooking from Coast to Coast

Serves 6


Beef Stew:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1½ pounds beef chuck, trimmed of fat and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 1lb trimmed)
  • 1 lb beef top round, trimmed of fat and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dark roux, plus more as needed
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoondried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 8 to 10 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced, seeded hot chiles (replace with 1 medium jalapeño or 3 serranos)
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely diced fresh bird's eye chiles  (do not seed chile)
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion 
  • 2 cups quartered Baby Bliss or small Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1½ cups peeled parsnips or yams, cut into bite-size dice
  • 1 cup bite-sized pieces of peeled carrot
  • 1 cup thinly sliced leeks (white and light green parts)
  • 1 cup bite-sized pieces of peeled turnip
  • 1½ cups bite-sized pieces of celery
  • 1/4 cup quartered button or small cremini mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup seeded and chopped red, green, or orange bell pepper


Herbed Dumplings (optional):

  • 2 cups Bisquick baking mix
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh fiat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon poppy or caraway seeds


Note: many grocery stores carry jarred roux, both medium and dark. To make your own, for this recipe use 1/2 cup plain flour to 1/2 cup cooking oil or butter; place the oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until it is slightly darker than peanut butter. Adjust heat lower if you are not familiar with the process; if you scorch it, throw it away and start over. Note also that roux is basically molten lava; take care not to splash it on yourself.

Beef Stew With Herbed Dumplings

Beef Stew With Herbed Dumplings

Click image to enlarge



Melt the shortening in a Lodge 7-quart cast iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the meat well on all sides in batches. (Don't crowd the meat in the pan or it will steam and not brown.) Remove the meat to a plate as it is browned.

When all the meat has been browned, return it to the pot, and season with the paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Add the garlic and tomato paste, and cook briefly, stirring to coat the meat with the paste. Add the roux, stirring for 3 minutes. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, basil, thyme, cumin, allspice and 4 cups of the stock. Stir to combine. Add the Worcestershire, sugar and 1/4 cup of parsley. Add another 2 cups stock, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is barely tender, about 45 minutes. Add the chiles, onions, carrots, parsnips, leeks, and turnip. Add more stock and roux, if necessary to cover the vegetables (add 1 tablespoon roux for every 2 cups stock). Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the celery, and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and bell pepper, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about another 5 minutes.

If serving with dumplings, spoon out enough liquid into a small saucepan so the vegetables and meat are exposed. Keep the reserved liquid simmering over low heat while you make the dumpling dough. Keep the stew at a low boil.

In a medium bowl, combine all the dumpling ingredients until well mixed. Using two tablespoons, form the dough into oval-shaped, heaping tablespoon size dumplings, and drop onto the stew. (The dough will come off the spoons easier if the spoons are dipped in hot stock or water before forming.) Once all the dunplings have been added to the pot, cover and cook until a toothpick inserted into the dumplings comes out cleanly, 15 to 18 minutes.Transfer the dumplings to a warm plate and keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve.

Return the reserve liquid to the pot, stir to combine. Ladle the stew into warm serving bowls and set several dumplings on top. Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup of parsley.


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