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blue cheeese dumplings topping a hearty beef stew in a cast iron pan
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5 from 2 votes

Hearty Beef Stew with Pickled Walnuts and Stilton Dumplings

A Hearty Beef Stew is pure comfort on a cold winters night. Simple to prepare and slow-cooked, it's a crowd-pleasing meal to serve up. This version, with the addition of pickled walnuts and blue cheese dumplings, is a little more exciting than most.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course, Supper
Cuisine: British, World
Servings: 4
Calories: 1096kcal


  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 600 g Braising steak
  • 1 Large white onion
  • 2 Celery stalks
  • 2 Rashers streaky bacon
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1 ½ tbsp Plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 60 ml Red wine
  • 12 Baby onions/ shallots
  • 4 Allspice berries
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • ¼ tsp Ground black pepper
  • 60 g Pickled walnuts
  • 500 ml Beef stock
  • 200 g Chestnut mushrooms
  • 400 g Carrots
  • 250 g Baby potatoes
  • 250g Jerusalem artichokes
  • 10 g Fresh thyme

For the Stilton Dumplings

  • 120 g Plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ½ tsp Baking powder
  • 50 g Beef or vegetable suet
  • 30 g Blue Stilton cheese (or other strong blue cheese)
  • 4-5 tbsp Whole (full-fat) milk


Make the hearty Beef Stew

  • Preheat oven to 160C/ 320F/ GM 2 ½
  • Chop the beef into 1-1.5 inch cubes if necessary, and season
  • Heat a large casserole pan and add ½ the oil then fry ½ of the beef, turning frequently until the meat is browned all over. Remove from the pan and fry the remaining meat in the same way. Set all meat aside
  • Finely dice the large onion and celery sticks and add to the pan along with the remaining oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes. Crush the garlic clove and chop the bacon then add to the pan and continue to cook until the vegetables are soft
  • Split the allspice berries open using a pestle and mortar or the end of a rolling pin. Sprinkle into the pan with the bay leaves and black pepper
  • Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minutes, then deglaze the pan with the red wine. Allow the liquid to evaporate
  • Peel the baby onions and wipe the chestnut mushrooms. If the mushrooms are large chop in half. Place in the pan and then return the browned meat to the pan. Dice the pickled walnuts and scatter into the pan with a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Pour the stock over everything, give a good stir, cover and cook for 2 ¾ hours, stirring midway through
  • Just before the cooking time is up, peel and chop the carrots and Jerusalem artichoke into thick pieces. Add to the pan with the potatoes and cook for a further 45 minutes
  • Make the dumplings when there is 10 minutes cooking time left: Put the flour, baking powder and suet into a small mixing bowl. Strip approx 1 tbsp thyme leaves from their stems and crumble the cheese. Add both to the bowl and stir then add just enough milk to form a soft but not sticky dough. Using floured handles roll into 8 equal-sized balls
  • Top the stew with the dumplings, cover and cook for a further 30 minutes - removing the lid after 20 minutes for a crisper finish to the dumplings
  • Check and adjust seasoning as necessary, then serve straight away with a sprig of thyme to garnish


Calories: 1096kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 67g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 625mg | Potassium: 2239mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 16906IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 229mg | Iron: 10mg