Guinness Axis Stew with Herb Cheddar Dumplings
- 2 pounds stew meat (axis, been, whatever you can get)
- 1/2 pound bacon, chopped
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 4 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 ounces tomato paste
- 4 parsnips, peeled and diced
- 1 bottle Guinness Stout
- 4 cups beef stock
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- several sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
- 1 pound of mushrooms, sliced (I used combination of white and cremini)
- 1 1/4 cups self rising flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I used rosemary and thyme)
- 1/4 cup cold shortening
- 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 2/3 cup milk
Cook the bacon in a dutch over or other heavy pot (needs to have a lid) over medium heat. Remove bacon to paper towels to drain, reserving bacon fat in the pot. Season stew meat with salt and pepper and add to pot and cook until browned on all sides. Remove stew meat to plate. Add onions and carrots to pot and cook until soft and fragrant. Add in garlic and cook for another minute. Add tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the Guinness and Worcestershire, scraping up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, bring to a simmer. Add the stew meat back to the pot along with the beef stock. Add bay leaves and thyme bundle. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for 1/2 hours.
Add the parsnips and simmer for another half hour or until they are tender. Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Add mushrooms and the reserved bacon and cook for another 10 minutes with the pot uncovered.
For the dumplings, stir together flour, herbs and garlic powder. Cut in the shortening until combined. Add the cheese, stir to combine. Add milk and stir until it is all combined. Make small balls with the dough and drop on to the top of the stew in the pot. They will grow as they cook so leave room in between them. Cover and cook for another 25 - 30 minutes or until the dumplings are firm and cooked through.
Adapted from Host The Toast.