Our Family Winter Warmer – Beef in Beer with Dumplings!

When we heard about the Co-operative Electrical’s current competition, I must admit we got a little bit excited! All you have to do to enter is write a blog post about your favourite winter warmer recipe and send a link to Promotions@co-operative.coop by midday on Friday 21st February…and the winning entry wins £750 to spend at www.coopelectricalshop.com, with a runners up prize of £250 too!


With my dire need for a new oven, and my family’s LOVE of creating in the kitchen, we just couldn’t wait to get started – and it didn’t take long to decide on the recipe either!

Beef in beer with dumplings

In our house we love ‘cosy’ing down on a chilly winter’s night with a warm stew, and our family recipe for Beef in Beer with Dumplings always goes down a treat. It is so tasty and filling – and it is a low fat recipe too!

Kitchen lessonsThe best thing about it, however, is that it is a recipe which can involve both the boys who love to be in the kitchen. As a Mum I think there is nothing more important than teaching the boys how to cook safely, and this recipe gives me the opportunity to get both the boys involved at the right levels for their age, without either feeling left out! My 8 yr old helps with the chopping and cooking, allowing me to teach him safe chopping techniques and how to use the gas heat safely; whilst my 6 year old can get down and dirty making the dumplings, whilst I teach him about weighing, measuring and the rubbing in method!

So here is our recipe:

Beef in Beer with Dumplings

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours in total

Serves 4


You will need:


For the beef in beer:

1tbsp vegetable oil

500g lean braising steak, cubed

2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped

2 sticks of celery, washed and chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1tbsp plain flour

300ml strong dark ale

300ml beef stock

1tsp dried thyme or marjoram

salt and pepper

For the dumplings:

100g plain flour

a pinch of salt

1tsp dried mustard powder

40g low-fat spread

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives


  • Preheat the oven to 170oc/Gas Mark 3/325oF

browning the beef

  • Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish and brown the meat all over

adding the veg and stock

  • Add the onions, celery and carrots and cook for a further 5 minutes, then sprinkle over the flour and add the beer and stock
  • Add the thyme or marjoram and season with salt and pepper, then pop on the lid and put into the over to cook for 1 1/2 hours

making the dumplings

  • Meanwhile make the dumplings. Sift the flour, salt and mustard powder into a bowl then add the low fat spread

rubbing in method

  • Rub the spread into the mixture until it is like fine breadcrumbs (and have lots of messy fun at the same time!)
  • dumpling makingAdd the chive then mix in just enough cold water until the mixture forms a soft dough. This can then be shaped into 8 small balls, which can then be popped in the fridge until they are needed!
  • cooking dumplingsAfter 1 1/2 hours, remove the casserole from the oven and take off the lid. Raise the temperature to 200oc/Gas Mark 6/400oF and then arrange the dumplings on top of the casserole. Pop it back in the oven for 30 minutes until the dumplings are golden brown and crusty!
  • Serve with your choice of sides (we like mashed potato to soak up the sauce) and enjoy!Eating the winter warmer

This recipe really is a winter warmer…and it gets a thumbs up from my lot EVERY time! If you give it a go, let me know how you get on… and if you enjoy it as much as we do!

Clean plate

This blog post is our entry into the competition hosted by www.coopelectricalshop.co.uk


4 thoughts on “Our Family Winter Warmer – Beef in Beer with Dumplings!

  1. Sounds tasty and it’s so lovely to see kids getting involved in the prep like this. Thanks for linking up with #recipeoftheweek :) I’ve pinned and tweeted this post and there’s a fresh linky live now. Hope you join in x

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