Nothing more comforting than an unctuous slow-cooked stew
Serves 6
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Elements of luxury, like red wine, chewy beef chucks, salt-cured pork belly, and best of all, parmesan dumplings are added into this seemingly humble stew to transform it into a one-pot family favourite. Simply prepare, place your ingredients in the pot and let them work their magic.


  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 350 g piece flat pancetta, cut into 1cm thick matchsticks
  • 2 medium red onions (340 g), cut into thick wedges
  • 1 kg beef chuck, trimmed, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 medium carrot (120 g), chopped coarsely
  • 2 trimmed celery stalks (200 g), sliced thickly
  • 400 g canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups (500 ml) dry red wine
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 10 g finely grated parmesan


  • 1 cup (150 g) plain flour
  • 1 cup (150 g) self-raising flour
  • ½ cup (40 g) finely grated parmesan
  • 125 g butter, chilled
  • ½ cup (125 ml) chilled water, approximately

Preheat oven to 160 C (140 C fan forced). Heat oil in a Dutch oven or other flameproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add pancetta and onion; cook, stirring, for 2 mins or until pancetta is golden. Remove pancetta and onion with a slotted spoon.


Increase heat to high; cook beef, in batches, for 3 mins or until browned all over. Return beef and pancetta mixture to pan, add garlic, carrot, celery, tomatoes, wine and bay leaves; bring to a simmer. Cover; transfer to oven. Cook for 1½ hrs or until beef is almost tender. Season to taste.



Sift flours into a bowl; stir in parmesan. Coarsely grate butter into bowl. Rub in butter with your fingertips. Using a flat-bladed knife, cut enough of the water through flour mixture to just bring it together. Roll dough into 16 balls.


Increase oven to 180 C. Place dumplings on stew, sprinkle with parmesan. Return to oven, uncovered, for 30 mins or until dumplings are cooked through and browned lightly.

TIP Handle the dumpling dough as little as possible to keep the texture light and fluffy. This oven-baked beef stew recipe can be made to the end of step 2 up to 2 days ahead. Reheat stew, then continue from step 3.


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