Helen’s Hearty Slow Cooker Beef Stew (With Herby Dumplings!)

Hello lovelies!

It’s that time of year where the cold nights are settling in and we all start looking for something warm and filling to enjoy.

Have no fear!

I started pot of this wonderful hearty stew off this evening and I thought.. hey.. why not feature it on my blog? It was a bitter -3 degrees in some parts of the UK last night and I’ve no doubt that some of you need warming up!

Serves: 2

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 400g diced beef
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 500ml beef stock (or 500ml water and 1 bouillon cube)
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 200ml red wine (I use Merlot!)

You will also need:

  • 100g plain white flour
  • A large pinch bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large rounded tablespoon butter substitute (Utterly Butterly etc)
  • 30ml milk
  • Black pepper

Method:

  • Set your slow cooker to LOW
  • Place the beef, stock, carrots, onions, red wine and thyme in the bowl, cover with the lid and allow to simmer for at least 3 hours.
  • Half an hour before serving, set your slow cooker to HIGH.
  • In a small bowl, crumb together the flour, butter substitute, salt sugar, thyme and bicarbonate of soda.
  • Mix in the milk a little at a time until a stiff dough forms.
  • Divide the mixture with a spoon and shape lightly with your fingers. It will be a little sticky.
  • Give the stew a good stir and drop the dumplings into the stew, Stirring the stew first distributes the heat so that they start cooking straight away.
  • Cover with the lid again and allow the dumplings to cook for fifteen minutes.
  • Divide between two serving bowls and sprinkle with some cracked black pepper. Enjoy!

Feel free to add other vegetables and let me know how it turns out. This is only a very simple, warming and filling stew from my household to yours!

My Perfect Steak & Onion Rings Recipe



I promised Matt that I would be sure to include the way I cook his steak with onion rings on my recipes page. We’ve tried all kinds of steak for this, but we’ve agreed that a nice juicy sirloin or rib-eye steak is best.

From several men that I have spoken to, my husband is apparently a lucky fella. A woman who knows how to cook a steak to perfection is apparently to be cherished!

I always remove the fatty rind from my steak. Personally, I find it gives the steak a less greasy, more luxurious flavour. Try it and see what works for you.

My onion rings are made with a simplified tempura batter. Since making them the first time, my onion rings have become rather popular. I tried making them with a beer batter like I used for cod and I found this worked just as well. The ingredients are also a lot cheaper and the result is just as good!

For this recipe, you will need:

The Steak

Ingredients

  • One 8 oz Sirloin steak, fat removed
  • 1 tsp finely ground sea salt
  • 1 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp clarified butter
  • A little flour

You will also need

  • A griddle pan
  • Tongs or a spatula
  • A clock, or a good sense of time!
  • A pastry brush

The method

  • Combine the salt and pepper and season the steak generously on both sides.
  • Melt the butter in the griddle pan. When a pinch of flour bubbles in the pan, it is ready.
  • Fry the steak in the centre of the pan for 2 minutes thirty seconds. Flip and fry on the other side for another 2 minutes and thirty seconds. It will be brown on the outside, but perfectly medium-rare in the centre.
  • Allow the steak to rest for a minute or two while you prepare the plate. Brush with the melted butter and juices before serving.

The onion rings

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp plain white flour
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 pinch bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 pinch table salt
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Sunflower oil

You will also need;

  • A small bowl
  • A fork
  • A small frying pan
  • A plate
  • Kitchen roll (for draining)

The Method

  • In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cornflour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  • Generously fill a small frying pan to 1/3 full with sunflower oil.
  • Add the water to the flour mixture and whisk with a fork. The mixture should resemble heavy cream. Do not worry if some small lumps remain, If the mixture is too thick, add a few more drops of water and whisk again.
  • Test the oil by allowing a small amount of batter to drip into the oil. If it bubbles and floats after a few seconds, the oil is ready.
  • Dip the onion rings into the batter and allow any surplus to run off. They don’t need a thick coating as the batter will bubble in the oil.
  • Fry the rings for a minute or two either side, until golden. When they are ready, transfer them to a plate lined with kitchen roll to drain.

To serve, place the steak on a warmed plate, pile the onion rings on top of the steak and serve with plenty of thick cut chips, mushrooms and peas.

Buon appetito!



My Omelette To End All Omelettes!



Hello lovelies,

For lunch today my dearly beloved asked me to make an omelette and I decided to be a little more attentive than usual. Normally, I just make him his ham & cheese omelette but today I decided to go for that something extra!

As a sensualist, cooking is just something else that I enjoy. I love it when I create such a flavour that I leave people silenced!

For this crowd-pleasing omelette you will need:

Ingredients

  • 3 large, free-range eggs
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch table salt (not rock salt)
  • 1 pinch ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh milk
  • 1 slice deli ham, diced
  • 2 medium slices mature cheddar cheese

You will also need

  • A non-stick frying pan
  • A jug
  • A whisk
  • A small bowl (for the fried onions)

The method

  • In a large non-stick frying pan, heat the oil and fry the onions until translucent, then set aside in a small bowl. Do not wipe out the pan as you can use leftover oil for cooking the omelette later.
  • Whisk the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and parsley together until uniform and foamy.
  • Heat the frying over a medium-low frame, whisk the egg mixture again briefly and pour into the pan.
  • Sprinkle in the ham and fried onions and crumble over the cheese.
  • Once the omelette is beginning to set and come away from the edges, flip it onto itself and finish cooking.

I’ve been asked to add mushrooms next time, so I will let you know how that goes!

What do you like in your omelettes? Let me know in the comments!