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April 17, 2021

Dumplings for Stews – Winter Comfort Food!

Posted on July 1, 2018 by in beef

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Dumplings for Stews

Dumplings for stews are just the ultimate winter comfort food. The fact that it all happens in one pot, makes it effortless too.

Dumplings for stews, however, can take on so many different flavors, ingredients and textures that it might take some time to find the one you like. A batch of dumplings can be made with many starch forms and it can have a filling or not, choice is yours. Dumplings can also be cooked in a variety of ways, steamed, boiled in a broth, baked, fried. Virtually every cuisine in the world has a form of dumplings, just think Chinese, African, Indian, British and American to mention but a few. You can find loads of information on dumplings HERE.

Dumplings for Stews

Before we get to the two dumpling recipes I want to share with you, here are a few tips from my side.

1. If making dumplings for a stew, make sure there is enough liquid in the pot. The dumplings need steam to cook, but also loves to soak up all the delicious stew flavors.

2. Season the stew properly, the dough of the dumplings can be rather bland, so it needs a good flavor source.

3. If you are steaming the dumplings, DO NOT LIFT THE LID, before the cooking time is up. The dumplings will be dense and heavy.

4. Baked dumplings need heat from the bottom and the top, so if you are baking it in the oven, it needs a lid and if you are making it on the open fore, it needs a lid with a few coals on top.

Today I want to share with you a recipe for a dumpling with a difference. A dumpling with no starch at all. I like these dumplings because they give you a sense of comfort when eating them, but without the guilt of over indulgence.

Ricotta Dumplings for Stew

serves 6


500 g ricotta cheese

2 eggs

125 ml / ½ cup grated parmesan

a small handful fresh herbs – basil or parsley is my favorite

salt and pepper to taste

½ t grated nutmeg

zest of 1 lemon


Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and when you are ready to cook the dumplings, use two teaspoons to shape small dumplings into the stew. Place the lid back on the pot and steam for 10 minutes without lifting the lid.

Dumplings for Stews

Beef Beer and Pear Stew

serves 6


6 pieces of beef shank/shin – it is about 1 kg

3 T / 45 ml Olyfberg Olive oil

2 sticks celery finely diced

1 large onion – finely diced

2 carrots – finely diced

3-4 sprigs of thyme

6 small pears – just peeled

2 t / 10 ml smoked paprika

350 ml stout

250 – 350 ml beef stock

salt and pepper to taste

a few baby carrots

100 g fresh green beans – optional


Preheat oven to 180 C. Heat a cast iron pot on the stove. Add the olive oil and brown the meat in batches. Remove the meat from the pot and keep warm. Add the onion, carrots, celery, thyme and paprika to the pot and sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the meat, beer and stock. Place the lid back on the pot, pop it in the oven and cook for 1- 1½ hours or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone. Check the liquid throughout the cooking period and add a little water or stock if necessary. About 30 minutes before cooking time expires, add the pears to the pot and put back in the oven for the remaining time. Add the carrots and beans if using and with the two teaspoons make the dumplings and place them on the stew. Place the lid back on and steam for 10 minutes on the stove top. Serve with more parmesan and fresh herbs of your choice.

For a more traditional dumpling recipe, click here:

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