This hearty dish is filling and tasty - perfect for a cold autumn day. The dumplings mean this is an all-in-one dish that everyone will enjoy
Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170?C/fan oven 150?C
Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole dish and add half the beef. Fry, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until browned all over. Remove from the dish and set aside. Fry the remaining beef until browned, then remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the onion to the dish with a splash of water and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fry, stirring, over a low heat for 3-4 minutes or until starting to soften and the water has evaporated. Add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes.
Return the beef to the pan with any juices and the carrots, turnips and bay. Season, pour in the beer and hot beef stock and bring to a simmer. Cover, transfer to oven and cook for 3 hours.
After 3 hours, make the dumplings. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and mix in the oats and suet with a pinch of salt. Sti in enough cold water to make a thick dough. Shape into 4 large or 8 small dumplings and place on top of the stew straight away.
Cover and return to the oven for 30 more minutes. When the dumplings have doubled in size and are firm, the stew is ready. Discard the bay leaf, ladle the stew into warm bowls and serve with steamed kale.
This recipe is taken from The Contented Calf Cookbook: Nourishing Recipes for Breastfeeding Mums by Elena Cimelli (Grosvenor House Publishing, £14.99)
Blend the beef, carrots, turnips and gravy mixture until smooth.
Give your baby pieces of cooked beef and broken bits of dumpling - he'll love dipping them into some of the gravy.
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