Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Very simple, comforting mince and dumplings

on March 20, 2013

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I’ve been a bit busy and distracted the past week or so, but I’ve wanted to post this recipe for a while.  It’s super simple and its a lower fat version of a full blown pie and a lot simpler to make.  And as the weather can’t decide if it’s spring or not, it’s really warming and comforting on the days it decides to snow.  

I got the recipe from the Hairy Bikers.  I do love their cookbooks.  This is from their Perfect Pies cookbook, which you can find here http://www.hairybikers.com/books/perfect-pies/1323.  Mr J bought it for me because he wanted me to make more pies and I complained that I’m not good at them, which really meant, I’m not very confident with them.  This book has helped me get more confident, although I do prefer the non-pastry ones!

I’ve another recipe I love from this book that I made recently and want to share, so that’ll be coming next.

The mince mixture is very similar to making a bolognaise sauce but instead of spaghetti, it’s topped with lovely doughy crispy dumplings, very similar to savoury scones.  And they’re very simple to make.  

You can make the full thing for friends or family, or I like to make it and then heat the leftovers up the next day.  Or you can halve it if there’s just a couple of you.  

Hairy Biker’s mince and dumplings

Serves 4-6

  • 1 tsp oil (olive, sunflower, vegetable etc)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 500g lean mince (lamb, beef, chicken, pork, quorn – whatever you like.  I used lean steak beef mince, but have used lamb in the past)
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes (or use plum and chop them with a wooden spoon)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 350ml beef stock
  • 150ml red wine (or use extra stock)
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt & pepper

For the dumplings:

  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 75g frozen or hard butter, grated (or use 125g beef suet instead)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 200ml cold water
  • salt & pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan and on a low-medium heat cook the onion, garlic, celery and carrots until softened and the onion translucent, but they’ve not browned.  
  3. Add the mince and cook until it’s browned, breaking it up with the spatula or spoon.
  4. Then add the tomatoes, puree, stock (wine if using), sugar, bay leaf and season.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a low simmer for about 20 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and the meat and vege cooked through.  Stir occasionally to prevent it sticking to the bottom.
  5. Whilst that’s simmering, make the dumplings.  Put the flour, butter or suet, salt, pepper and parsley into a bowl and stir well.
  6. Make a well in the middle and pour 3/4 of the water into it.  
  7. Mix to make a dough – you don’t want it too sticky, but if its not coming together into a ball, add the extra water.  If it’s too sticky, add a spoonful of flour.
  8. Lightly flour your hands.  Divide the dough into 12 and roll into balls before flattening slightly.  
  9. Place the mince mixture in a deep baking dish and cover with the dumplings, leaving space between them to allow them to expand.
  10. Cover with tin foil, and tent is so there’s space for the dumplings to rise.
  11. Place in the oven for 15 minutes.  Then remove the foil and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until the dumplings are golden brown and everything is piping hot.
  12. Serve immediately and enjoy the comforting goodness.

 

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