Mince and Herby Dumplings
What’s not to love about mince and dumplings? This is a total northern classic that we’ve both eaten since we were kids and still love. When it comes to the dumplings, though, our tastes differ. Dave prefers a natural dumpling – just steamed like this – while Kingy likes his slightly tanned. If you’re with Si, just pop the dish under the grill to brown your dumplings and give them a crunchy crust.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely sliced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 500g beef mince
- 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 450ml beef stock
- pinch of caster sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- sea salt and black pepper
- 250g self-raising flour
- 125g beef suet, shredded
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
- 1 tsp finely chopped thyme
For the mince, heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion, garlic, celery and carrots for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally until the veg are softened and lightly coloured. Add the beef and cook for a further 5 minutes until the mince begins to brown, stirring regularly to break up the meat.
Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, beef stock, sugar and bay leaf. Season with salt and black pepper, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the mince gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
To make the dumplings, put the flour in a bowl and stir in the suet, salt and herbs. Make a well in the centre and add enough cold water to make a soft, spongy dough – you’ll need about 200ml. Lightly flour your hands and roll the mixture into 12 small balls.
Stir the mince well and remove the pan from the heat. Drop the dumplings on top of the mince, then cover with a tightly fitting lid and return the pan to a medium heat. Cook for 18–20 minutes or until the dumplings are well risen. Serve with some green vegetables.