Beef & Guinness stew with bacon dumplings served in a casserole dish

Beef & Guinness stew with bacon dumplings

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(21 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 3 hrs

More effort

Serves 4

Cosy up this winter with a hearty stew. This beef and Guinness casserole really packs in the flavour, served with delicious bacon dumplings, cabbage and mash

Nutrition and extra info

  • stew only

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal800
  • fat41g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs43g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre7g
  • protein57g
  • salt1.9g
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  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1kg boneless beef shin, cut into 3cm chunks
  • 200g pearl onions or small shallots
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped to the same size as the shallots



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

  • 3 celery sticks, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 500ml beef or chicken stock
  • 500ml Guinness
  • 1 large thyme sprig
  • 4 star anise
    Star anise

    Star anise

    star an-eese

    Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…

  • buttered cabbage and mash, to serve

For the dumplings

  • 100g smoked bacon, finely minced
  • ½ tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 60g beef suet
  • 1 egg yolk
  • small pack parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. First, make the dumplings. Gently fry the bacon until crisp in a large lidded casserole dish. Stir in the thyme leaves, then tip into a bowl and leave to cool slightly. Add the flour and suet to the bacon, and stir everything together. Make a well in the middle, then add the egg yolk, parsley, ½ tsp pepper and 2 tbsp very cold water, and start to mix into a dough. Keep adding water until you a have a firm but pliable dough. Divide the mixture into eight balls and chill until needed.

  2. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Quickly clean the casserole dish with some kitchen paper, then heat the oil. Brown the meat really well in batches, then set aside. Tip in the onions or shallots, carrots and celery, brown well, then stir in the flour. Add the meat and any juices back into the dish, give everything a good stir, then pour in the stock and Guinness. Season, then tuck in the thyme and star anise and bring everything to a simmer. Cover with a lid, then cook in the oven for about 2 hrs until the meat is tender.

  3. Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the dumplings evenly on top. Put the lid back on and return to the oven for 20 mins, then cook for a final 10 mins with the lid off to brown the dumplings. Bring the dish to the table in all its glory. Spoon into bowls with cabbage and mash, to serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Thraxas's picture
18th Oct, 2018
Only made the dumplings but they were amazing
28th Jan, 2018
There are lots of nice elements. The meat is tasty. The gravy is good, although I’d probably use less star anise next time. The dumplings however were an epic fail! Smoked bacon was too sweet. The texture was dense and clagy. And egg?! I’d stick to bog standard plain ones! Dumplings lost it a star. Would make again but with tweaks!
28th Jan, 2018
Delightful stew, but didn't make the dumplings as we are not keen on them. Mashed swede and cabbage. Yum
25th Jan, 2018
This stew was absolutely delicious. I had to reduce the quantities, as there are only two of us. This was a bit of a problem for the dumplings as a third of an egg is pretty impossible. I've made dumplings many times and never used egg before so, I just left the egg out of the recipe and it worked perfectly. Lovely, light fluffy dumplings. Will definitely be making this again.
22nd Mar, 2018
Next time make the full amount and freeze half. It will taste even better
15th Jan, 2018
Gorgeous stew, one of the best I've eaten! The dumplings, however, were not for me. Think that this will be my 'go to' stew recipe from now on x
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