Baking

Dumplings, a great British classic

Call me nostalgic, but I can’t think of anything that conjures up childhood memories like good old fashioned dumplings do. I saw them on a pub menu a few weeks ago and since then I’ve yearned to have them in a thick, rich stew.

So the weekend, I gave in to my desires. I made a rich beef stew with dots of sticky, shiny, and gelatinous sauce, plus eight soft, chewy, white meatballs to sponge it up. It was the ultimate comfort food, soothing and restorative. Frankly, it was heaven in a bowl.

The great thing about dumplings besides adding interest to soups and stews is their subtle ability to stretch a meal further with virtually no additional cost. Plus, everyone loves them. You can tell it’s just by the way their faces light up at the mention of the stew and the dumplings.

Lucky for me, my grandma made the sweetest, lightest, fluffiest meatballs ever! She was little puffballs of pleasure which melted on the tongue. The trick she employed was to simply add a handful of fresh breadcrumbs to the mixture. She has always sworn that it was the finely grated white breadcrumbs that was responsible for making her dumplings so wonderfully light and tastier. Besides this tip, everything else is pretty much similar to other dumpling recipes.

As for the fat, you can use either a light vegetable tallow (it keeps ages in a cool cabinet and does not need to be refrigerated) or frozen grated butter.

The other choice that you have to decide is to steam or steam the dumplings. But different rules apply depending on which method you choose.

Oven-baked – means you have to cook the dumplings without a lid

Steamed on the stove – means you have to cook the dumplings with a lid

If you go for the steaming method and want your dumplings to be puffed up and puffed up to their full potential, make sure you cover them with a tight-fitting lid and whatever you do, don’t remove them while cooking. steaming process. The other points to remember are these, follow them to the letter and I promise you won’t go wrong …

1) Measure the ingredients – accuracy is important here

2) Don’t be heavy, work quickly with a light touch

3) Add enough water so that the dough is soft and elastic, not sticky

4) Leave a space between each meatball to allow them to double in size

5) Cook the meatballs in a liquid simmering gently, not quickly boiling

And now for the dumpling recipe … 8 meatballs

Makes:

Preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes

Level of effort: easy

Lifetime: eat immediately

Ingredients:75g all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

50g fresh white breadcrumbs

50 grams Atora light vegetable tallow

About 75 ml of water

¼ teaspoon of salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Equipment:bowl

Sieve

Fork

This is what you do:Pour all the dry ingredients into a bowl, including the seasonings, and mix lightly with your fingers or a fork.

Make a well in the center of the bowl and gradually pour the cold water. Suck the dry ingredients into the liquid and mix them lightly until a soft, supple dough forms and comes off cleanly from the bowl.

Lightly flour your hands and divide the dough into eight small pieces, then roll into small, walnut-sized balls.

Lower the dough balls into the gently bubbling stew, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Otherwise, if you are cooking the meatballs, increase the oven temperature to 200 ° C. Gas 6. Place the meatballs in the stew then slide the casserole dish on the upper rack of the oven. Bake without a lid for about 25 minutes and the meatballs are a deep golden color.

Additional flavors to try: –2 teaspoons of dried sage

1 teaspoon of English mustard powder

1 tablespoon hot creamy horseradish

1 tablespoon finely chopped spring onion

1½ tsp. Grated Parmesan

1½ tablespoon caramelized onions

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs – parsley or chives work best

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