Beef Stoup and Dumplings

Have you ever made something that you weren't sure would turn out?  You know - an experiment, usually out of desperation, to use up things in your fridge before you have to throw them out.
Yep, thought so.
Sometimes it just okay. Usually it's just okay.
Sometimes it's better.  A whole lot better.
This is one of those.  I started out making beef stew and found myself diverging from the actual plan.  My family LOVED it.  Slurpingly, gorgingly, amid groans and "Why have you never made this before?".
 Here you go. 
 Oh yeah, I call this a stoup because it is thicker than soup but not thickened like stew.  You know - stoup.
Beef Stoup and Dumplings
2 pounds of stewing beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
4 cups beef broth OR 4 cups water and 1 Tablespoon beef better than bouillon
2 bay leaves
1 onion, large dice
2 ribs celery, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
about 12 small red potatoes, cut in half or quartered (you don't need to peel them)
1 red (or orange or yellow) bell pepper, diced
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cup milk OR buttermilk
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Brown the beef in the oil, about 5 minutes. 
Add the tomatoes (don't drain, just dump in the can), broth or water with b than b and bay leaves.  Cover and simmer over low heat for 1-2 hours.
Add all the veggies and Worcestershire sauce.
Cook for about 30 minutes, until all the veggies are soft. Salt and pepper to taste.
While that is cooking, mix up the dumpling dough.  To do that, mix the dry ingredients.  Cut the butter into the flour mixture with 2 knives or a pastry cutter.  Mix in the milk until just mixed.  It's going to look sloppy.  That's just fine.  We don't judge.
Drop the dumplings into the hot stoup.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes. 
 Uncover and cook for 10 more minutes.
Gobble it up.

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