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Beef Casserole and Sweetcorn Dumplings

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the meat for 4-5 minutes, in batches until brown.  Spoon into a large casserole dish.
Add the shallots, garlic and carrots to the frying pan and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally.  Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Transfer to the casserole dish.
Add the stock, wine, vinegar and herbs to the casserole dish.  Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, season and stir in the golden syrup.
Cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
To prepare the dumplings: place the flour and salt in a large bowl and rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Season.  Add the remaining ingredients, mix together to form a smooth dough and shape into 8 even-sized balls.
20-25 minutes before the end of cooking time remove the casserole from the oven, add the dumplings, return to the oven and cook uncovered for the remaining cooking time.
Serve with extra vegetables.
Tip: Cool any leftovers, cover and store in the refrigerator.  When reheating, ensure the casserole is piping hot before serving a sensational second helping.

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– Ingredients –

675g (1½lb) braising cubes (chuck and blade) or stewing cubes (shin and leg), cut into 4cm (1½inch) cubes
30ml (2tbsp) sunflower oil
8 small shallots or button onions, peeled and left whole
1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
30ml (2tbsp) plain flour
600ml (1pint) hot, good beef stock
300ml (½pint) good red wine
15ml (1tbsp) red wine vinegar
2 large sprigs fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
15ml (1tbsp) golden syrup

For the Corn Dumplings:

225g (8oz) self-raising flour, sieved
Pinch salt
50g (2oz) cold butter, cubed
15ml (1tbsp) freshly chopped chives
150g (5oz) sweetcorn kernels
120ml (8tbsp) cold water

– Author –

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