Beef Stew with Guinness, Knockanore Cheese & Mustard Dumplings


Serves Four

  • 900g/2Ib good stewing steak, cut in bitesize pieces
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp. oil
  • 3 medium-sized onions, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 12.5g/0.5oz dark brown sugar
  • 25g/1oz plain flour
  • 450ml/16fl oz. Guinness
  • 425ml/.075pt beef stock
  • 5 ml/1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp. mixed herbs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 225g/80z self-raising flour
  • 115g/4 oz. shredded suet
  • 25g/1oz Knockanore Cheddar
  • 5ml/1tsp strong Irish mustard
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Set aside a large casserole dish.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and fry the pieces of meat a few at a time, until browned, then remove with a slotted spoon and place in the casserole.
  3. Slowly fry the onions in the remaining oil until they begin to brown.
  4. Add the garlic and sugar, stir well and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn the onions.
  5. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Gradually pour in the Guinness and stock, stirring continuously and bring to the boil.
  7. Pour over the meat in the casserole dish and add the vinegar, bay leaves, mixed herbs and salt and pepper.
  8. Heat the casserole on the hob until it begins to bubble, then cover and place in the oven preheated to 150c/300f/gas mark 2 for 3 hours.
  9. To make the dumplings, mix the flour, suet, grated cheese, mustard, salt and pepper together.
  10. Add 60ml/4 tbsp. water to bind to a stiff dough.
  11. Shape the dough into 8 similar balls. Add to the stew after 2.25 hours, gently pushing the balls of dough down into the liquid and cook for a further 45 minutes.