Today I’m using the slow cooker to make a simple Lobbin Beef Stew – which I’ll serve with dumplings. I might add the dumplings to the slow cooker in the last half an hour, or I might microwave dumplings on demand when I want to eat the beef stew.
Lobbin Beef Stew is a simple beef stew because I’m just using up what I’ve got and “lobbing in” what’s lurking around the kitchen. This stew is a great winter Leftovers Recipe. I’ve an overload of potatoes since I bought way too many in the lead up to Christmas and the week after (three 2.5Kg bags of potatoes!). Some of these potatoes are now starting to sprout, so it makes sense to throw a few of these in. I’ve also got the final two Christmas carrots and a lurking onion.
The slow cooker means I can just throw everything in, raw, and leave it to do its thing! This recipe easily fits into a 3.5 Litre slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Lobbin Beef Stew Ingredients:
- A pack of raw cubed beef, approximately 400 grams
- 3-4 potatoes
- 2 carrots
- 1 medium onion
- Salt/pepper to season and a splash of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Stock cube or a teaspoon of gravy granules or a small stock pot
- Peel and chop the potatoes, carrots and onions into pieces. Size isn’t important, it’s how you fancy it.
- Lob the potatoes, carrots and onions into the slow cooker.
- Open the pack of beef cubes and lob those into the slow cooker. You put the raw beef cubes into the slow cooker, no need to brown it first.
- Season with salt and pepper, a splash of Worcestershire sauce if you have it.
- Make up your gravy and add it, or add a liquid stock pot.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and turn on high for 1 hour, then turn it down to low to cook for 4-5 hours.
- Have a look to see if you’ve enough gravy – if you want more, then mix up a stock cube, or a teaspoon of gravy granules or add a small stock pot and stir that through. If you do this, then you can optionally leave the slow cooker on for another half an hour or so to let it all blend in. Now is a good time to add dumplings if you’re going to have beef stew & dumplings!
Note: There is no particular order to adding the ingredients, just toss them in – it’ll be cooking for long enough and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to give it a stir later if you don’t think it’s progressing well. You just need trust and patience … it works fine, just trust it.
Note: You do not have to add liquid or make any gravy – as the meat cooks it releases the juices, which then soak into the vegetables… a small gravy will “appear from nowhere”, which you can top up towards the end if you wish to do so at that point. I like gravy, so add it at the start, then add more later if I think it needs more when I look at it!
For the Dumplings, the basic recipe is the same however you’re going to cook them. A simple blend of 2 parts Self Raising flour and 1 part suet, mixed with water until they’re dumplings – add the water very slowly and don’t overwork the mixture – you are trying to form a soft dough, not a sticky ball. It’s easy to add too much water, which would mean the centre of your dumplings might just appear as a white goo!
Shape the dumplings and drop into the stew, cover and leave for 30 minutes. Dumplings like a lot of gravy to cook in, so you’re better off ensuring your stew has plenty of gravy before dropping them in.
You can make dumplings without suet:
As I said, I might add the dumplings to the stew, or I might microwave dumplings on demand when I serve this up.
The best dumplings are from those cooked in the stew, but there’s very little difference between those and the microwave dumplings. Dumplings cooked IN the stew have more chance of coming out as fluffy dumplings; microwave dumplings don’t increase much in size. Both taste just as good though!
And there you have it – Slow Cooker Lobbin Beef Stew & Dumplings all done the cheats way with no real prep at all, just “Lob In” what you’ve got available and walk away 🙂
Storing Leftover Beef Stew
Once made, this can be transferred to a lidded pot and stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. It can also be frozen. I freeze it in individual portions, so I only have to defrost one and not the whole lot! To defrost, transfer the pack to the fridge, or you can defrost it in a microwave safe covered bowl in 2-3 minutes on high power (800 watts).
What to Serve Beef Stew With:
I can never decide until the last minute what I’ll serve. Dumplings are always favourite, or plain boiled potatoes. Chips go well with beef stew too, or just a fat chunk of bread and butter.