8th July, 2020
One of my garden beds is currently a sea of self-seeded parsley. I purposely leave a few parsley plants to go to seed each summer and then sprinkle the seeds around the garden. I do the same with coriander and the result is a steady supply of fresh herbs all through the winter months. With the bonus of very little work on my part leaving Mother Nature to continue her seasonal magic.
Parsley, therefore, features quite heavily in my meals throughout the cooler months and into spring. Today I share a punchy green sauce that accompanies many main meals, and finely chopped parsley is added to scone-like dumplings to dot on top of a hearty vegetable-laden beef stew.
Beef & Ale Stew with Parsley Dumplings
- 500 g chuck or rump beef steak, cut into 2cm chunks
- 2 tbsp flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- half a small swede, about 300g, peeled and chopped into 2cm chunks
- 3 carrots, about 250g, chopped in 2cm chunks
- 1 tsp thyme or rosemary
- 250 ml beer – I used a pale ale
- 250 ml beef stock or water + extra if needed
- 1 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 ¾ cups white flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 75 g cold butter, cut into 1cm cubes
- Small bunch parsley, finely chopped
- ½ cup yoghurt
- 3-4 tbsp milk
- In a bowl, toss the beef pieces in the flour and seasoning to evenly coat.
- Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet or shallow casserole dish. Saute the onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides. Add the swede, carrots and herbs and toss to combine. Add the beer, stock and mustard, and mix well, adding extra stock if needed so the meat and vegetables are just covered. Cover and cook gently on a low heat for 1½ hours.
- *Alterntively, skip the dumpling part of this recipe and cook the stew in a slow cooker for 2-3 hours on HIGH or 4-5 hours on LOW.
- Preheat the oven to 190C.
- Make the parsley dumplings. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Add the cubed butter and use fingers to rub into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Toss through the chopped parsley then add the yoghurt and use a butter knife to combine. Add 1 tablespoon milk at a time mixing with the knife until the dough comes together.
- Remove the stew from the heat. Use hands to quickly shape the dough into large walnut-sized balls. Arrange on top of the stew, spacing them evenly and allowing room for the scone-like dumplings to spread and rise in the oven.
- Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the dumplings are plump and golden. Serve immediately with green sauce (recipe below) and sauteed greens.
Green Sauce - AKA Parsley Salsa Verde
- Large bunch of parsley, about 80-100g
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 tsp capers
- 2 gherkins, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- About 100ml extra virgin olive oil
- Place all the ingredients except olive oil into a food processor and blitz into a rough paste. With the engine going, drizzle in the olive oil until a thick green sauce is achieved. Check the flavour, adding extra lemon juice if needed. Pour into a jar and store in the fridge. Use within 1 week.