This beef stew with mushrooms, dumplings and sour cream is
a substantial and satisfying main dish. Serve it with a green
vegetable salad and French bread. Serves 4.


4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2lb (1kg) stewing steak, trimmed of fat and cut into 1" cubes
1oz (30g) (2 tablespoons) butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons brandy, warmed (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 pints (5 cups) home-made beef stock
6 oz. (185g) mushrooms, wiped clean
5 fl. oz. (150ml) (5/8 cup9 sour cream


8 oz. (1/2 lb.) breadcrumbs made from day-old white bread
4 tablespoons water
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 onion, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground mace.

Preheat the oven to warm 325F (170C).

Mix the flour, salt and pepper together on a large plate. Roll
the beef cubes in the flour mixture until they are lightly

In a large frying pan heat the butter and oil over moderate
heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7
minutes, or until it is soft and translucent. With a slotted
spoon, remove the onion and set aside on a plate.

Add the beef cubes to the pan, a few at a time. Brown them
well, adding more oil and butter if necessary. Remove the beef
cubes as they brown and place them in a large ovenproof
casserole. If you are using the brandy, put it in a metal ladle.
Set it alight and pour it, still burning, over the beef cubes in the
casserole. When the brandy has stopped burning, add the
onion to the casserole with the bay leaf and stock.

Cover the casserole and place in the oven to cook for 2 hours.

While the meat is cooking, make the dumplings. Put the
breadcrumbs into a large mixing bowl. Add the water, a little at
a time, and toss lightly with a fork. The breadcrumbs should be
just moistened, not soggy. Still using the fork, lightly mix in
the eggs. Add the salt, pepper, parsley, onion and mace.
With floured hands, shape the mixture into walnut sized balls.
Add the dumplings to the casserole, with the mushrooms, cover
and cook for 30 minutes. Spoon over the sour cream just before

B-man :wink: