Beef and ale stew with herby dumplings recipe

By Angela Boggiano

  1. Serves 6-8
  2. Takes 15 minutes to make, 55 minutes to cook
  3. Rating

Shin of beef is one of the best cuts for making a rich, juicy stew but it does require longer cooking – so it’s perfect for a pressure cooker. It makes a good pie filling too.

tried and tested
Beef and ale stew with herby dumplings


  1. 2 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1.5kg shin of beef, cut into large pieces about 3cm square
  3. 25g plain flour
  4. 2 carrots, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  5. 12 shallots, halved if large
  6. 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  7. 2 tsp tomato purée
  8. 250ml beef stock
  9. 250ml Guinness or other stout
  10. 2 tsp sugar

For the dumplings

  1. 100g self-raising flour
  2. ¼ tsp salt
  3. 50g shredded suet or butter
  4. Handful of fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped


  1. 1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Put the beef in a bowl, toss with the flour and season well. Add the meat to the hot oil and quickly brown all over, in batches if necessary, then transfer to the pressure cooker. Add the remaining ingredients to the pressure-cooker pan and bring the mixture to the boil.
  2. 2. Attach the lid to the pan to bring it up to pressure. Once the correct pressure has been reached, lower the heat, then cook for 40 minutes.
  3. 3. Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Put the flour, salt and suet into a bowl. (If using butter instead, rub it into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs at this point, as if you’re making pastry.) Add the chopped parsley and mix well. Add 2-3 tbsp water and knead into a soft dough. Shape the dough into 9-10 small balls and set aside.
  4. 4. When the stew is cooked, allow the pressure to drop using the quick-release method (see manufacturer’s instructions) and remove the lid. Drop the dumplings evenly on top of the stew. Put the lid back on the pan but don’t bring up to pressure, then cook for a further 10-12 minutes until the dumplings are puffy and cooked through. Taste, season if necessary, then serve.

Nutritional info

Per serving (based on 8): 500kcals, 26.2g fat (10.7g saturated), 46.1g protein, 19.7g carbs, 5.9g sugar, 0.8g salt

Chef's tip

CONVENTIONAL COOKING To make in a flameproof casserole or heavy-based pan, follow steps 1 and 2, adding 300ml extra liquid such as 150ml ale and 150ml stock. Cook over a very gentle heat, covered, for up to 2½ hours. Make and cook the dumplings as below. TO FREEZE Place in a sealable plastic container. Defrost fully before reheating until piping hot, either in the oven or on the hob. Fresh garnishes and dumplings don’t freeze well, so make or add these on the day of eating.


Please register or sign-in to leave a comment. We’d love to hear what you think.

Sign in
Sign in

Forgot password ?

Why sign up?
Save recipes, enter exclusive competitions and upload you own recipes!

Register for free now
Sign up for our newsletter for the latest news, recipes and offers.
Healthy recipes
Dinner parties
Dinner parties

Get delicious. news & recipes straight to your inbox
* indicates required
( mm / dd / yyyy )