Gordon Ramsay revives a British stalwart, boiled beef and dumplings, with a few modern twists
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For perfect dumplings
To keep them light, mix the dough just before cooking and make sure the liquid only simmers – don’t boil them or they will break up. Adding a splash of olive oil to the water keeps them glossy and stops them sticking, a bit like cooking pasta.
For maximum spice flavour
Tying the whole spices in a muslin bag ensures they impart their flavour and can be easily removed. (If you attach the bag to the handle of the pan it’s simple to locate it when you want to lift it out.)
For a clean, rich stock
Gordon uses a lean, low-fat braising beef, such as silverside or brisket and cut it into three or four pieces so that it cooks evenly. Put the beef into water only to start with, bring it to the boil, then remove the scum. This acts as a cleansing process before the stock goes in. After that, keep skimming all the way through the cooking for a lovely, rich stock.
For fresh, crisp vegetables
Baby vegetables don’t need much preparation – just trim any tops or stalks. As the skins are so fine, there’s no need to peel. Dunking the blanched baby vegetables in ice-cold water is called ‘refreshing’, and helps to keep the bright colour and texture. It also means you can cook them ahead, then just reheat before serving.