Guinness beef stew with cheddar dumplings

My father is visiting Norway for the first time since I moved here 12 years ago!

It is an absolute joy to see him again but the one thing that I know about him is that he is not into fancy pancy food.  Back in South Africa he would eat what we would call “Boerekos – rys, vleis en aartappels”, which is basically rice, meat and roasted potatoes.

So for the next 2 weeks, my aim is to cook flavoursome, comfort food – just to keep my dad happy and hopefully impressed!?

For this delicious Guinness stew you need time – it is all about slow cooking and comfort!  It is so worth the effort though, specially as we are entering the colder months and we all want that bit of “hygge” in our homes.

Do not skimp on the cheddar, buy good British cheddar with that sharp tang.  I served this a salad on the side ….. enjoy!

You’ll need

  • 1kg x stewing beef
  • 100g x thick bacon, cut into cubes
  • 2 Tbsp x sunflower oil
  • 3 x celery sticks, diced
  • 3 x carrots, peeled and diced in rather biggish chunks
  • 1 x large white onion, diced
  • 4 x cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 x large potatoes, diced
  • 1 x medium sized turnip, diced
  • 90g x tomato paste
  • 1 x 440ml Guinness stout
  • 1lt x chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp x Worcesterhire sauce
  • 1 x bay leaf
  • 3 x sprigs fresh thyme
  • 250g x crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp x cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp x flat leave parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • 1 ½ x cup self raising flour
  • ½ tsp x garlic powder
  • 80g x unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 100g x grated cheddar cheese
  • 160ml x full cream milk
  • 2 Tbsp fresh herbs (any of the following will work - thyme, rosemary, parsley, oregano)


  1. Heat your oven to 150℃.
  2. In an oven proof, heavy-based pot saute the bacon over medium heat until cooked. Remove the bacon from the pot, set aside but keep the fat.
  3. Season the beef with salt and pepper and fry in the bacon fat until browned on all sides. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.
  4. In the same pot, fry the onion and celery until soft and fragrant, adding a little extra oil if necessary.
  5. Add garlic and fry for another 30 seconds.
  6. Stir in the tomato paste.
  7. Add the carrots, Guinness and Worcestershire sauce.
  8. Add the bacon and beef back into the pot and pour in the chicken broth.
  9. Add the bay leaf and thyme.
  10. Give it a good stir and bring to a simmer.
  11. Put the lid on and and place in your pre-heated oven for 1½ hours.
  12. Remove from the oven and add the potatoes and the turnip.
  13. Simmer for another ½ hour with the lid on.
  14. Take your pot out the oven, remove the bay leaf and thyme branches.
  15. Add the mushrooms.
  16. Mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water to form a slurry. Mix the slurry into the stew and place back into the oven uncovered for 10 minutes.
  17. Remove again from the oven and increase the temperature of your oven to 170℃.
  18. In the meantime you can start making your dumpling mixture.
  19. Stir together the self-raising flour and garlic powder in a medium bowl.
  20. Add the cubed cold butter and with your finger tips mix until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  21. Stir in the cheddar cheese and fresh herbs, then add the milk and stir until the dry ingredients comes together into a rather wet dough.
  22. Scoop tablespoon full dough parcels on top of the stew, leaving them room to expand– they grow a lot as they cook.
  23. Place the stew in the oven uncovered and bake until the dumplings are browned and cooked through for about 30 minutes.
  24. Garnish the stew with parsley and serve.

TIPS : To make your own self raising flour for this recipe. Mix 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp salt together.

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