Beef & brown ale stew with horseradish dumplings

This is a great autumnal/winter warmer. It uses cheaper cuts of beef but as it is slow cooked has great depth of flavour. The horseradish in the dumplings compliments the recipe perfectly.


3 tbsp plain flour

2 tsp English Mustard Powder

1kg/2lb 4oz beef shin or braising steak, cut into 2.5cm pieces

50g/2oz lard, plus extra if needed

2 large onions, sliced

400g/ 14oz whole chanteray carrots

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp mushroom

550ml bottle brown ale

2 large sprigs of thyme

2 bay leaves

2 beef stock cubes


175g/6oz self-raising flour

75g/2½oz suet

2 tbsp thyme leaves, chopped

4 tbsp strong horseradish sauce


1. Heat oven to 160⁰C / 140⁰C fan/ gas 3. Tip the flour into a large plastic food bag with the mustard powder and some seasoning, and mix well. Add the meat and shake well to evenly coat each piece of meat.


2. Put half the lard in a large, heavy based, flameproof dish with a tight fitting lid, and heat over a medium heat until hot. Brown the meat on all sides in batches, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a large bowl. Add more lard, if needed, until all the meat is browned. Do not over fill the pan or the meat will steam rather than brown.


3. Heat the remaining lard, then add the onions and cook until soft and lightly browned. Return the meat to the pan, add the carrots and Worcestershire, ketchup, ale, thyme, bay leaves, stock cubes and 200ml water. Gently bring to the boil, then cover with the lid and transfer to the oven for 3 hours until the meat is tender. You will need to stir it occasionally. Once the meat is tender increase the oven temperature to 200C / 180c fan / gas 6 and quickly make the dumplings.


4. Mix the flour, suet and thyme in a large bowl. Season well. Add the horseradish gradually, starting with 4 tbsp, add enough cold water to form a soft dough that won’t stick to the side of the bowl. Divide the dough into 12 small pieces and roll each into a ball. Do not over knead. Remove the lid from the dish and put the dumplings on top and return to the oven., uncovered for a further 25 mins until the dumplings are cooked and golden. Serve piping with mashed potato and kale.



Creamy Chicken and Wild Mushrooms

Chicken with Mushroom Cream Sauce


Serves 4 – Prep 20 mins plus soaking – Cook 40 mins


A really easy dish that is great for serving to friends. You make the recipe in one dish and then serve with either broccoli or asparagus and some fried potatoes.


25g/1oz Dried Ceps

50g/2oz butter, softened

small handful tarragon, leaves torn

4 chicken breasts, skin on

1 tbsp olive oil

150ml/1/4pt white wine


1. Allow the mushrooms to soak in 275ml of hot water for 10 minutes until plump. Drain them keeping the soaking liquid and then chop. Mix the chopped mushrooms with butter and half the tarragon and stuff under the skin of the chicken.


2. Pre heat your oven to 200⁰C/180⁰C/gas mark 6. Heat the olive in a large flame proof dish, add the chicken and brown all sides. Once browned place in the oven for 20 mins allowing the chicken to cook through. After the 20 mins, remove the dish from the oven and take the chicken out and keep it warm.


3. Return the dish to the heat, add the wine and simmer until nearly reduced.  Now add the the reserved mushroom liquor and simmer again until reduced by half. The stir in the creme fraiche and simmer for 1 to 2 mins more. Now finally add the remaining tarragon and season to taste. Return the chicken to the dish, heat through for 1 min more and serve.