The weather has well and truly turned. It’s like someone switched the sun off and the temperature just dropped. It coincided perfectly with the first day of Autumn in the middle of last week, which seemed slightly prophetic. We’ve just returned home from our mini UK staycation to Oxfordshire and Cornwall and there’s barely a bean in the fridge but I was too lazy to go to the shops so I’ve scraped together a basic dish of what I could find and as always, it’s turned into a bit of a corker. This veggie mince stew with cheesy herb dumplings is the ultimate in comfort food and the perfect antidote to this weather. I adore this season for all the wonderful food.
I’m using my favourite Quorn vegetarian mince but you can use any mince you like, literally replace like for like in the recipe. As you can tell from the ingredient list I’m also using the scraps of veg that desperately needed using. You can use your fave veg or follow the below.
for the mince stew
- 1 large onion – finely chopped
- 1 carrot – finely chopped
- half a swede – chopped
- 4 mushrooms – chopped
- fresh herbs and seasoning
- 500g mince
- 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 1 teaspoon yeast extract (such as marmite) – you can leave this out if using meat
- 1ltr good quality stock
- 100g frozen peas
for the cheesy herb dumplings
- 200g self-raising flour
- 100g veggie suet
- 50g strong cheddar cheese – coarsely grated
- salt and pepper
i’ve used my 30cm shallow casserole dish with a lid but any casserole dish would work – pre-heat the oven to 150C
heat some olive oil and butter in the pan sauté the onions, carrots, swede and mushrooms until beginning to soften, then stir in the salt and pepper and herbs and let them all sweat for 10 mins, staring occasionally to stop it sticking.
stir in the mince and brown off for about 5 mins.
stir in the tomato ketchup and yeast extract, then pour over the stock and stir in the peas. Let it bubble away on the lowest heat for about an hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 170C
now make the dumplings. Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and season well, then add a little cold water whilst bringing together with your hands until a light soft dough is formed. Keep it all light and quick and try not to over-handle the dough.
split the dough into roughly 8 little balls and, after the stew has been cooking for an hour, place them onto the top of the stew. Place the lid on the stew and into the oven for 15 minutes with the lid on and 10 minutes with the lid off for a crispy finish
eat and of course, enjoy!