Muffin-topped winter beef stew

Muffin-topped winter beef stew

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(133 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 30 mins


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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    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



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

    • 450g carrot, cut into chunks



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

    • 2 large parsnip, cut into chunks



      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



      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



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


    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 (146)

    indigo12's picture

    Delicious and really easy!! The topping was great.I added a small pack of ready prepared casserole veg (which had the carrot and parsnip but also diced potato,swede and leek),this was because i wanted more "bulk" in case the kids wouldn`t eat the top.....but they loved it and asked for more!!

    amiebart77's picture

    I must be one of only a few who didn't like this (my partner loved it) For me, the muffin just did not taste right on the stew. The parnips had totally reduced down to bits, even though I made sure they were large chunks. The stew itself was very tasty, but I wont be making it again with a muffin top.

    botleypark402's picture

    Did this in the slow cooker with additional root veg, transferring to the oven when topping was added. The muffin top is definitely a great alternative to dumplings. Will be making again

    d41d0y's picture

    AWESOME. Very easy stew and the topping was a real surprise! Will definitely make again and for more friends and family.
    Made for 2 and could only manage a 3rd of it between us, could not manage the full amount in one sitting, no way! Will be eating the leftovers for a few days :D

    barnett5's picture

    I made this as per the recipe, except I made it gluten free by changing flour to Doves Gluten Free Plain Flour - twice now for a dinner party! Delicious! I did the ginger, chocolate and praline bombe for desert. Lovely!

    whoscookingtonight's picture

    Loved this, very tasty, and the topping was a fantastic alternative to dumplings

    barrywebber's picture

    I've made this about 4 times now and everyone loves it. We don't use our old stew recipe any more. Muffin top is great but does need cooking for longer that suggested.

    kathmedwards's picture

    Fabulous recipe, especially the muffin top. I used beef stock instead of vegetable. The sauce was maybe a little too liquidy and could have done with thickening - will probably use a roux next time.

    stephi_kelly's picture

    Amazing! The first stew that I have made for ages that I really enjoyed! Will be making again, a real winter treat.

    myjay09's picture

    Fantastic dish, everyone enjoyed it, will make again for sure

    lazylol's picture

    Lovely - made it tonight for tea and it went down a treat.

    millymolly29's picture

    I did mine in the slow cooker and added a bit too much liquid so initially my muffin sunk! However I scooped out some liquid and the muffun cooked perfectly- I used the retained liquid as gravy- very tasty!

    andy01's picture

    The topping is to die for, It is also nice with just some herbs mixed in to the muffin topping

    lulu23's picture

    really yummy, family loved it, the topping was a hit!

    lemonjellly's picture

    Really good, used beef stock and 100ml wine, cooked muffin top for additional 10/15 minutes and was really pleased with the result. Will add greater variety of veg and maybe bacon next time. Lovely.

    stbrelades's picture

    I made this yesterday it was so tasty.

    amanda006's picture

    This is really yummy!! Definitly a firm family favourite that will be eaten plenty on those cold winter nights

    manz12's picture

    Love this recipe, the muffin goes really well with the stew - just perfect. Have made it many times now!!

    manz12's picture

    Love this recipe, the muffin goes really well with the stew - just perfect. Have made it many times now!!

    chrissond's picture

    I was really excited to try this after all the reviews but it ended up tasting only of parsnips. Unfortunately my family really didn't like it and I definitely wouldn't do it again. A traditional beef stew is much better.


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