Slow Cooker Beef Stew & Herb Dumplings

Slow Cooker Beef Stew & Herb Dumplings – the perfect comfort food! A delicious beef stew loaded with vegetables cooked in your Crock Pot & topped with homemade dumplings for a hearty one pot meal. A timeless classic you’ll never tire of.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew & Dumplings.

Having been spoilt with warm days well into November makes the cooler turn in the weather a bit of a shock to the system. I think after the arrival of frost it’s definitely time to start eating comforting hearty meals like stews.

My mum would make a beef stew almost every week, not least because it was economical – a small amount of a cheap cut of meat would stretch a long way with all those vegetables.

My mum didn’t have a slow cooker back then, so the stew would be on a low light on the hob for most of the day.

When I got married I carried on the tradition of a weekly stew, making it in the slow cooker we had as a wedding present – money was tight so we even had stew pie later in the week.

Over the years we’ve lost the weekly stew tradition here at the Kitchen Shed but every now and then, when the weather turns, we have a humble delicious beef stew, with dumplings of course.

Browned beef, carrots, onions and potatoes in a beef stock and herbs.

 

 

WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE SLOW COOKER BEEF STEW AND HERB DUMPLINGS?

BEEF

The slow cooker is perfect for transforming chewy, hard working cuts of meat into melting, flavourful tenderness. For this recipe I’ve used only 400g of chuck steak so it is very easy on the pocket. A note on cooking the meat – for me, browning the meat is essential.

 

WHAT’S THE BEST CUT OF BEEF FOR A STEW?

CHUCK STEAK

This comes from the shoulder and upper limb of the animal. Chuck has plenty of collagen and intramuscular fat which basically means the longer you cook it the more tender and juicy it becomes.

You don’t have to stick to chuck steak. Beef labelled as stewing steak will breakdown with long slow cooking into forkfuls of tender fall apart beef.

Browned beef, carrots and onions in the slow cooker.

VEGGIES AND HERBS

I’ve used carrots, onions and potatoes, items I’d got on the pantry shelf, but feel free to use any root vegetables.

Slow Cooker Beef stew is seasoned with bay leaf, thyme and finished with fresh parsley.

A NOTE ON USING HERBS IN YOUR SLOW COOKER

Dried herbs work best added at the beginning of slow cooking because the flavours intensify. Conversely fresh herbs are added towards the end of cooking as they tend to lose their flavour.

THE GRAVY

You can tell a good stew from its gravy or sauce and this one is delicious!

To make this sauce you will need:

  • Tomato puree
  • Worcester Sauce
  • A good quality beef stock

Combined with the flavour from the caramelised slow cooked beef, vegetables and herbs you won’t be able to resist a second helping.

HOMEMADE DUMPLINGS IN THE SLOW COOKER

Arguably the best bit. No stew would be complete without homemade dumplings. Sometimes I have to make double to make sure I get some. A spoonful of a soft and fluffy dumpling with stew is divine.
Made from just a few ingredients they make a stew a complete one pot meal.
You will need:

  • Plain flour
  • Baking powder
  • Shredded suet
  • Freshly chopped parsley
  • Water

FOR A SUET FREE DUMPLING

A good substitute for suet is to grate hard white vegetable fat, such as Trex, and coat with rice flour.

HOW TO MAKE SLOW COOKER BEEF STEW

Slow Cooker Beef Stew is easy to make and needs only a few minutes of preparation.

Secondly, brown the floured beef chunks and add to your slow cooker.

Firstly, brown the onions and carrots in a small amount of oil in a large frying pan. Add them to your slow cooker.

Thirdly, deglaze the frying pan with the beef stock and transfer to the slow cooker.

Lastly, add the potatoes, dried herbs, tomato puree and Worcester sauce. Give it a good old stir, place the slow cooker lid on and let the slow cooker do its magic.

A NOTE ON BROWNING BEEF

You can just throw everything into the slow cooker but it really is worth browning (brown the vegetables as well since you’re using a pan for the meat) to get all the delicious caramelised depth of flavours.

HOW TO COOK CROCK POT DUMPLINGS

Cooking dumplings in your slow cooker couldn’t be easier. Often people worry about overcooking dumplings or dumplings falling apart but gentle simmering in the slow cooker does away with this worry.

Make up the dumpling dough and shape into small balls.
Turn up your slow cooker to High and add the dumplings to your Crock Pot.
Cook on High with the lid on for 45 minutes.

CAN SLOW COOKER BEEF STEW AND HERB DUMPLINGS BE REHEATED?

Yes. Once cooled the stew can be kept in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days.
Reheat in a pan on the stovetop on a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

A NOTE ON REHEATING DUMPLINGS

I wouldn’t recommend reheating dumplings, I find that they don’t tend to be as soft and fluffy when reheated. It’s not often a problem for us as there’s usually a queue for seconds so no dumplings get saved for later.

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IF YOU LIKE THIS RECIPE…
you might also like:

Slow Cooker Beef Madras Curry

Slow Cooker Beef Brisket Goulash

Slow Cooker Citrus Lamb Shanks

 PIN SLOW COOKER BEEF STEW & HERB DUMPLINGS

Slow Cooker Beef Stew & Dumplings - the perfect comfort food! A delicious beef stew loaded with vegetables cooked in your Crock Pot & topped with herb dumplings for a hearty one pot meal. A timeless classic you'll never tire of.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew & Dumplings - the perfect comfort food! A delicious beef stew loaded with vegetables cooked in your Crock Pot & topped with herb dumplings for a hearty one pot meal. A timeless classic you'll never tire of.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew & Herb Dumplings

Slow Cooker Beef Stew & Dumplings – the perfect comfort food! A delicious beef stew loaded with vegetables cooked in your Crock Pot & topped with herb dumplings for a hearty one pot meal. A timeless classic you’ll never tire of.
4.96 from 24 votes
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Author: Sarah James

Equipment

  • large frying pan
  • Slow cooker or Crock Pot

Ingredients

STEW

  • 400 g stewing steak cut into chunks I used chuck steak
  • 6 tbsp plain flour or all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 4 carrots, sliced into chunks
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled & cut into small chunks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 750 ml beef stock
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

SUET DUMPLINGS

  • 110 g plain flour or all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50 g vegetable or beef suet
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 4 to 6 tbsp water

SUET FREE DUMPLINGS

  • 110 g plain flour or all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50 g grated hard white vegetable fat coated with a tablespoon of rice flour
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 4 to 6 tbsp water

Instructions

  • MAKE YOUR STEW
    Lightly grease the inside of your slow cooker with oil or cooking spray and turn your slow cooker on high.
  • Add salt and pepper to your flour and coat the beef chunks before setting the coated meat to one side.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat and brown the onions and carrots before transferring them to your slow cooker.
  • Add the floured beef chunks to your frying pan and brown well before adding to the slow cooker.
  • Add any remaining flour to your pan and cook out in the oil before deglazing the pan with the beef stock – stir well to avoid any lumps.
  • Pour the pan contents into your slow cooker and add the potatoes, herbs, tomato puree and Worcester sauce. Stir well and then put on the slow cooker lid.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours before making your dumplings.
  • MAKE YOUR DUMPLINGS
    Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the suet or vegetable fat and chopped parsley.
  • Add 4 tablespoons of water and stir again to form a dough, adding extra water if necessary.
  • Divide the dough into 8 pieces and turn out onto a floured work surface.
    Shape into small balls, add to your slow cooker and cook on high for 45 minutes with the lid on.

Notes

Leftover stew can be reheated.

Once cooled the stew can be kept in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days.
Reheat in a pan on the stovetop on a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I’m entering Slow Cooker Beef Stew & Herb Dumplings into a few food challenges this month:



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