Beef and Ale stew with Dumplings
5 from 4 votes

Beef and Ale Stew with Dumplings

Perfect for chilly winter nights, this easy peasy Beef and Ale stew with Dumplings is a total comfort food classic – the edible equivalent of a great big hug!
Recipe Type Main Course
Cuisine British
Keyword Casserole, Comfort Food, Stew
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Serves 4 people
Calories 667 kcal
Author Eb Gargano


Beef and Ale Stew

  • 2 medium onions sliced
  • 600 g stewing beef cubed
  • 250 ml ale (I used Sussex Gold)
  • 250 ml beef stock (I used a Kallo Organic cube and boiling water)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 100 g mushrooms chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ a small swede (rutabaga) peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces


  • 150 g Self-raising Flour
  • 75 g Suet (I use Atora)
  • Small pinch of salt
  • Cold water


  1. Preheat your oven to 160C / 140C fan / gas mark 3 / 325F.

  2. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large ovenproof saucepan or cast iron casserole dish. Add the onions and cook on a gentle heat, with the lid on, for about 3 minutes, until the onions are softened but not brown.

  3. Turn up the heat, add the beef and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the beef is lightly browned.
  4. Next add the ale and beef stock, thyme and bay leaves, plus salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid, then put the stew into your preheated oven for 2 hours 20 minutes.
  5. After the stew has been in the oven for just over 2 hours heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan and add the mushrooms, swede and carrots. Fry on a medium-high heat until lightly browned then add to the stew. Put the stew back in the oven for a further 20 minutes.
  6. Next make the dumplings: place the flour, suet and salt in a bowl and mix together. Add cold water a drop at a time until the mixture comes together into a dough. Divide the dough into 12 and roll each piece into a ball.
  7. After the stew has been in the oven for a total of 2 hours 40 minutes, remove the stew from the oven and place the dumplings on top of the stew – try to spread them out evenly. Replace the lid and then cook the stew for a final 20 minutes (3 hours in total).
  8. Serve just as it is or with green veg and either ale or red wine. Enjoy!


If you don’t own an ovenproof saucepan or cast iron casserole dish, simply cook the stew in a regular saucepan up until it has to go in the oven and then transfer the stew into a regular lidded casserole dish before placing in the oven. Add on an extra 5 minutes cooking time to allow for the fact that the casserole dish will need extra time to heat up.

If you can't get hold of suet, use the same quantity of butter instead.

Suitable for freezing. (Freeze dumplings and stew separately)

Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.

Nutrition Facts
Beef and Ale Stew with Dumplings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 667 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Fat 30g46%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 129mg43%
Sodium 212mg9%
Potassium 918mg26%
Carbohydrates 43g14%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 49g98%
Vitamin A 5180IU104%
Vitamin C 21.3mg26%
Calcium 70mg7%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.