These traditional suet dumplings are a much-loved British classic. Cooked on top of a stew, they are quick and easy to make (only 4 ingredients!), but always taste unbelievably good.
A childhood favourite
What is your favourite dish from childhood? I have quite a few – Sausage Parcels, Spaghetti Bolognese, Shepherds Pie, Roast Chicken, Lamb Hotpot…
But one of my absolute best childhood food memories is Traditional British Suet Dumplings made with Atora suet and cooked on top of a chicken stew or a beef stew.
The anticipation of these pillowy soft, stew-flavoured balls of wonderfulness was almost too much to bear as a child… and there were never EVER enough – no matter how many my mother made!
So simple to make!
And these delightful Traditional British Suet Dumplings are so easy peasy to make! No rubbing in or other complicated culinary techniques…
Simply put self-raising flour, Atora suet and salt in a bowl, and stir to ensure the salt and suet are evenly distributed throughout the flour. Then add just enough cold water to make the mixture come together into a firm dough. Divide the dough into 16 roughly even sized pieces (it doesn’t have to be perfect!) and roll each piece into a ball with your hands. Finally, place the dumplings on top of your stew and cook for 20 minutes.
What is Atora Suet?
Atora Suet is pre-shredded beef suet (the hard fat around the kidneys). It was first manufactured in 1893 in Manchester, UK – and is designed to make suet dumplings quicker and easier to make. (Otherwise, you’d have to shred your own beef suet!)
Atora suet is most commonly used in Traditional British Suet Dumplings, but you can also use it for suet pie crust, traditional British mincemeat (the kind you put in mince pies at Christmastime) and steamed puddings, like jam roly poly, spotted dick and – of course – Christmas pudding!
Fun fact – Atora now sells enough suet every year to make one million dumplings a week!
Easy to make veggie…
The classic Atora Suet is made from beef fat, but Atora also make a vegetarian version of their suet. Simply follow the recipe below – exactly as written and pop your dumplings on top of a vegetarian stew.
Works on top of any stew!
These dumplings are designed to be cooked on top of a stew cooked in the oven. You can cook them on top of almost any stew and at any temperature between 140 fan and 200 fan. (Use the oven temperature recommended for the type of stew you are making.)
Just make sure the pot you use for the stew is wide enough to fit the dumplings in a single layer. I suggest a minimum of 20cm / 8inches diameter.
An economical way to feed a family
The other great thing about Traditional British Suet Dumplings is they are a very economical way to feed a family. This whole recipe (designed to feed 4) costs just 92p… that’s just 23p a portion!
If you pop these dumplings on top of a frugal stew – for example my Quick Chicken Stew – you can feed a family of 4 for around £5. (Possibly less, depending on where you shop.)
Can you reheat suet dumplings?
Absolutely! Simply place the cooked and cooled dumplings in an airtight container in the fridge, where they will keep for up to 3 days. (Ideally keep them separate from any leftover stew, so they don’t go too soggy.)
To reheat, tip the leftover dumplings and stew into a saucepan with a splash of cold water, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the stew and dumplings are piping hot all the way through.
You can also reheat suet dumplings in the microwave, if you prefer.
Can you freeze suet dumplings?
Yes, suet dumplings can be frozen! Place the cooked and cooled dumplings in an airtight container in the freezer, where they will keep for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat as above.
You can also freeze uncooked dumplings. Freeze uncooked dumplings in a single layer, then transfer to a freezer bag or airtight container when fully frozen. You can pop them on top of stews straight from frozen – but you will need to allow extra time to defrost first, before cooking – I recommend adding approximately 15-20 minutes extra cooking time to both the stew and the dumplings.
(Though it does depend a little on how many dumplings – obviously the more frozen dumplings you add to your stew, the more extra time you’ll need.)
If you like this recipe…
…you might also like:
Traditional British Suet Dumplings (using Atora Suet)
- 200 g self-raising flour
- 100 g shredded suet I use Atora – either beef or vegetarian
- ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
- Cold water
- These dumplings are designed to be cooked on top of a stew cooked in the oven. You can cook them on top of almost any stew and at any temperature between 140 fan and 200 fan. (Use the oven temperature recommended for the type of stew you are making.)
- Make these dumplings approximately 30 minutes before your stew is ready to come out of the oven. (They will need approximately 20 minutes cooking on top of your stew.)
- Put the flour, suet and salt in a bowl. Stir to ensure the salt and suet are evenly distributed throughout the flour.
- Add just enough cold water to make the mixture come together into a firm dough. (Add a little at a time to ensure the dough does not get too wet. The dough should be firm, but not crumbly or sticky.)
- Divide the dough into 16 roughly even sized pieces (it doesn’t have to be perfect!) and roll each piece into a ball with your hands.
- Place the dumplings on top of your stew in a single layer and put the lid back on. Cook for 20 minutes, by which time both the stew and the dumplings should be cooked.
- Make sure the pot you use for the stew is wide enough to fit the dumplings in a single layer. I suggest a minimum of 20cm / 8inches diameter.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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