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Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Trim any excess fat off the beef, and place in a large plastic bag with the flour and some seasoning. Close the bag and shake it really well to coat all the meat with the seasoned flour. Melt the dripping in a very large ovenproof casserole and throw in the beef and shallots. Give everything a good stir and cook for 10 mins, until starting to brown. Pour over the stock and stir – scraping bottom of the pan to extract all the flavour. Cover with a lid, transfer to the oven and cook for 2½ hrs, until the meat is tender and falling apart.
Just before the beef cooking time is up, make the dumplings. Mix all the ingredients with 175ml cold water to form a heavy dough. Roll the dough into balls about the size of golf balls. Pop the dumplings into the casserole dish, leave off the lid and return to the oven. Increase heat to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and cook for 15-25 mins until the dumplings are puffed up, golden and cooked through.