Muffin-topped winter beef stew

Muffin-topped winter beef stew

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(136 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 parsnips, 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, questions and tips

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    11th Sep, 2012
    Added some thyme,garlic and used butternut squash instead of parsnips as did not have any! Delicious - meat melted in the mouth! I cooked mine in the slow cooker and then returned to oven just for the muffin topping bit! My boys aged 4 and 5 loved it too especially the 'cakey' topping!
    17th Aug, 2012
    Hi, first post on here. This may be a silly question but can you freeze the muffin mix seperately? This has to be the best beef stew ever we all loved it!!!!
    30th Jul, 2012
    Nice hearty meal. Didn't have wine so used 1tsp marmite for depth of flavour and only around 400ml stock. Still needed to thicken with cornflour before putting the muffin top on. Found it easier to oil hands with olive oil and shape the muffin mix into the rough shape of the dish before it went on and it definately needed 25mins minimum at 190 in my fan oven. Would make again.
    30th Apr, 2012
    I have my own recipe for beef stew which I used and then did the muffin topping. Lovely - and a really nice alternative to potatoes. Next time I'd make it more cheesey though.
    22nd Apr, 2012
    Good hearty family fare. Enjoyed it but nothing special flavour wise in the stew base. Muffin top nice idea. Will make again but wouldn't for visitors.
    13th Apr, 2012
    Oh would just like to add I cooked my stew in my slow cooker then transferred it into a baking dish topped it off with the muffin & baked it which took about 15 minutes longer than recommended.....turned out fab
    13th Apr, 2012
    This dish was very tasty & the muffin top was a lovely alternative to dumplings will definitely be making again.
    8th Apr, 2012
    My family love this recipe. We use gluten free flour (prescribed - Juvela white all purpose mix) and follow the normal instructions with it and it makes a wonderful topping. Turns out like a light scone, there's never any left over!
    6th Apr, 2012
    easy and one of the most yummy meals ive had for ages!!
    30th Mar, 2012
    Really easy to prepare and a great family meal, the topping just finished it off, perfect!!!


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