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Whilst your stew is bubbling, make the dumplings. Weigh the flour into a bowl and add ½ tsp salt. Stir through the suet and parsley, if using. Make a well in the centre and add 3 tbsp cold water, mix to a dough, adding more water until the dough is firm but pliable. Divide into eight equal pieces and roll in a little more flour into balls. Chill until needed.
When the stew has about 30 mins to go, arrange the dumplings on top and cover with a lid. With the oven at 160C/140C fan/gas 3, cook the stew and dumplings for 20 mins, then remove the lid and cook for another 10 mins until they’re brown and puffed up.