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1 Pot Beery Beef Cobbler
Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 13th October 2014
With the launch of the new 60 cm Rangemaster I thought I would bring you a recipe that is perfect for the more compact kitchen. The tools for this dish are minimal (perfect when storage is at a premium) and yet you can easily feed a hungry crowd on it. All you need is 1 chopping board, 1 knife, 1 small bowl and 1 pot. Ideally the pot should be a cast iron casserole dish, which I would suggest is an essential item in any kitchen.
So, onto the food. October brings with it chilly autumn days, golden leaves and the Oktoberfest celebrations of beer that have spread from Germany and now give an excuse to many British pubs to expand their range of posh beers for a month. One new beer that has been winning awards and is starting to appear in supermarkets and delis is Hiver, a blonde honey beer brewed in London. You may have heard about it on Radio 4’s food programme recently. I was sent a bottle of Hiver in the food-parcel round robin initiative Foodie Penpals, but not being a huge beer drinker I thought I’d turn it into a delicious winter stew.
You could replace Hiver with another blonde beer or even an ale. You might not need the Balsamic or a whole stock cube if you were using a dark beer. Alternately, if you want to make this for a family you could sub out the beer for more beef stock.
For the stew:
- 1 onion
- 3 large carrots
- 1 large potato
- 5 large closed cup mushrooms
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 bottle of hiver beer (330ml) Available from Ocado / Waitrose and some other places
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 beef stock cube
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 280 ml water (roughly)
- 5 tbsp plain flour
- Salt and pepper
- 3 gloves of garlic peeled but whole.
- 400 g braising steak cut into pieces
For the cobbler dumplings:
- 180 g SR flour
- 55g butter / marg
- 2 tsp rosemary
- Cast iron casserole dish. Mine was 24cm diameter 3.6 litre capacity
Easily serves 4 – would do 6 with extra veg
- Roughly dice the onion, chop the carrots lengthways and into 1 inch sections, chop potato into chunks and quarter the mushrooms.
- In a cast iron casserole dish heat 3 tbsp oil (Sunflower or vegetable is fine)
- Add the veg and cook, moving around occasionally until just starting to go brown.
- Put the plain flour in a bowl add the dried herbs (I used oregano, rosemary, marjoram and sage but you can use whatever you have in the cupboard) a grind of salt and pepper.
- Toss the meat in the flour.
- Add the meat to the pan.
- Tip in any leftover flour and mix it all up.
- Now add in the beer, tomato puree and balsamic vinegar.
- Finally crumble in the stock cube and add the garlic cloves.
- Stir well.
- Top up with at least a mug of water and stir carefully – it should be very close to the top of the dish.
- Bring to the boil and then turn down until barely simmering.
- Put the lid on but leave it slightly tilted to allow the sauce to reduce.
- Now leave it going for 2.5 hrs. Ideally check it every 30 mins – stir to make sure it’s not sticking and make sure there enough liquid. It should start to really thicken up after 1 h 45.
Make the dumplings while the stew is cooking.
- Rub together the flour and butter. Stir through the dried rosemary. You could also add a little grated cheese if you want.
- Now carefully add a little cold water – a couple of tablespoons at a time and bring the dough together. You only want enough to make it come into a ball. Set aside.
- When the stew is looking thick and you are happy with the taste (feel free to add more tomato / balsamic etc) heat the oven to 190 C.
- Tear off chunks of the dumpling dough and roll until a little larger than a golf ball.
- Squash them slightly until flat – like really rough scones.
- Repeat until you’ve used all the dough.
- Place them in a ring around the edge of the stew.
- Brush with milk or egg wash if you want them to brown better.
- Pop the pot with the stew and dumplings into the oven without the lid and bake for 20 mins.
Serve with crisp green vegetables.