Muffin-topped winter beef stew

Muffin-topped winter beef stew

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(134 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 30 mins

Easy

Serves 2 adults and 2-3 children
Muffin on stew? You’d better believe it – think of it as a lighter alternative to suet dumplings

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per adult serving

  • kcal847
  • fat39g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs82g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre10g
  • protein46g
  • salt2.81g
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Ingredients

    For the stew

    • 500g braising steak, cut into bite-sized chunks
    • 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with pepper and a little salt
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
      olive oil

      Olive oil

      ol-iv oyl

      Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
      Onion

      Onion

      un-yun

      Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

    • 450g carrot, cut into chunks
      Carrot

      Carrot

      ka-rot

      The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

    • 2 large parsnip, cut into chunks
      Parsnip

      Parsnip

      par-snip

      The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise - it looks just…

    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 tbsp sundried or regular tomato paste
    • 300ml red wine or extra stock
    • 450ml vegetable stock

    For the topping

    • 225g plain flour
    • 3 tsp baking powder
      Baking powder

      Baking powder

      bay-king pow-dah

      Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

    • 140g cheddar, coarsely grated
      Cheddar

      Cheddar

      Ched-ah

      Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…

    • 2 tbsp olive oil
      olive oil

      Olive oil

      ol-iv oyl

      Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

    • 150ml milk

      Milk

      mill-k

      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

    Method

    1. Heat oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. Toss the beef in seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Fry the beef over a high heat until browned all over – it’s easiest to do this in batches. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

    2. Add 2 tbsp water and the onion to the pan, stir well over a medium heat, scraping up the crusty bits from the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat and fry gently for 10 mins, stirring occasionally until the onions have softened.

    3. Tip in the carrots, parsnips and bay leaf, then fry for 2 mins more. Return the beef to the pan, stir in the tomato paste, wine if using, and stock, then bring to the boil. Cover and cook in the oven for 1¾-2 hrs until the meat is tender. Can be made up to 2 days ahead or frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost thoroughly in the fridge before topping and baking. Take out of the oven and increase the temperature to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.

    4. To make the topping, sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl and add half the cheese. Mix olive oil and milk, then stir into the flour to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Add more milk, if necessary. Spoon the dough over the meat and vegetables, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake for about 15 mins until golden, risen and cooked through.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Kim Bambrough
    22nd Jan, 2017
    0.05
    A nice family meal especially on a cold day. I made the muffin topping into dumplings, a nice alternative to using suet. Can't give a higher score as it is a middle of the road recipe though quite tasty
    saiz
    30th Nov, 2016
    3.8
    Beautiful hearty winters meal. Loved by all the family. The parsnip made the meal come together. Will definitely be making this again.
    iamquitetall
    11th Nov, 2016
    5.05
    Forgot to say, I spread the muffin mix in small blobs by hand, starting on the outside and moving into the middle, filling any gaps at the end with the final bits.
    iamquitetall
    11th Nov, 2016
    5.05
    Brilliant, the muffin works a treat. Have made this a couple of times, added Swede and mushrooms to the sauce too which worked nicely. It reheats well in the oven or microwave if you have leftovers.
    Claire145
    23rd Feb, 2016
    5.05
    Very tasty. I added garlic, halved the stock and used slow cooker then transferred to oven for the last part. I used the exact recipe for the muffin and it was perfect. No need to thicken the stew. Will definitely be making again.
    bethaneyj
    8th Dec, 2015
    1.3
    Didn't really like it! Not enough topping, and a bit flavourless. Won't try again.
    tirion
    22nd Oct, 2015
    My only changes to the recipe were 400g beef and I was out of bay leaves so used bouquet garni instead. I accidentally missed the bit of the recipe where you remove the beef and set aside, so cooked it longer along with the onions and veg. It don't think it did any damage. We really like the casserole and I don;t agree with some of the other comments - the sauce wasn't thick but not watery. With the beef left in I was constantly scraping the bottom of the pan to lift of the crispy bits so maybe that added body. Not sure, but if I made it again I wouldn't change the recipe. My only issue was the muffin top. I used a huge casserole dish and because it's so sticky, I couldn't flatten the dough enough to cover the stew. It was fine as an island in the middle but it grew a lot in the oven and was out of proportion to the casserole, and is really filling. I'd skimped on beef and used an 11 inch pot so I'm not blaming the recipe, just will have to be more thoughtful about ratios next time if I still don't own a smaller casserole dish.
    cheekymissevans's picture
    cheekymissevans
    3rd Mar, 2015
    5.05
    having read some comments I would have to disagree I made this pretty much to the recipe with addition of a handful of mushrooms. The sauce was lovely and not too thin and there was loads of topping when cookEd
    charlie66sasha
    23rd Feb, 2015
    I made this recipe for the first time tonight..I cooked it for 2 hours and I took some comments on board as too much liquid so I added 400ml beef stock and 200ml red wine, looked great and just right amount of liquid and thickness, I made up the muffin and did not look enough to cover, so I took notice of another comment and made double! Well that was way too much! Had more muffin than stew and all my stew had dried out :(. Will make again as wqs very tasty, but add the liquid and muffin quanity as stated. Or make muffin seperate then place on top anyone done that?
    alexis115
    16th Jan, 2015
    2.55
    I don't think this is the greatest stew recipe out there but it's ok. The muffin topping was horrible, not sure what I did wrong!

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    jess-booth's picture
    jess-booth
    22nd Aug, 2013
    Hi, this recipe sounds amazing! I'm going to make it for my husband this weekend. Question - I'm wondering what size casserole dish to use. The recipe says its for two adults - so is it a smaller sized dish? Thanks
    satutatu
    13th Nov, 2013
    I used 2 small casserole dishes (20cm diameter) and both were full to the max, so if you have one, go large-ish is my recommendation.
    sarahk
    19th Dec, 2013
    This is a stew that can 'Stand Alone' without the topping.(ie accompanied with mash etc.) The Muffin top? Rather dense. My husband loves 'stodge' and this went down very well with him'. I enjoyed but would prefer a lighter topping. I found it difficult to spread thinly. Any ideas please as husband wants seconds!? How can I make this a lighter topping? any ideas ?