Sunday, 10 January 2010

Parsley & Anchovy Dumplings

The light and healthy eating could only last so long. Wind blowing around this corner of South East London turned my nose and ears red; snow wreaked havoc for the overland trains, rendering my journey to and from work to be an hour and a half each way to travel just over 5 miles. Sheet ice covered the pavements and I slid my way around. I kept crossing my fingers for a snow day, but alas, off to work I trudged. Hearty feeding was needed to lift the spirits and to warm you from inside out.

The first time I had dumplings with stew I was mildly repulsed. Having grown up with the notion that all dumplings were of the Chinese kind, I listened on in horror while my dad told me what suet was. I soon warmed to the idea of it as the doughy, puffy dumplings soaked up the meaty gravy in stodgy happiness.

I decided to add a twist to these dumplings. Usually when I make a beef stew I dissolve a couple of anchovies in the oil before adding anything else. This gives the stew an deeper, richer flavour with none of the fishiness. Instead, the anchovies went into the dumplings with parsley for some grassy freshness. It worked beautifully, just as I'd hoped - the anchovies had melted into the dumplings well. The tops were slightly crisp and they yielded softly under the fork. The shin of beef in red wine stew was complete.

Parsley & Anchovy Dumplings

Makes 6 - enough for 2

110gr self raising flour
50gr suet
4 anchovy fillets
A large handful of finely chopped parsley
1/2 tbsp mustard powder
Water
Pepper

Sift the flour into a large bowl with the mustard powder. Chop the anchovy fillets finely and add to the flour with the parsley and suet. Add black pepper to taste (the anchovies are salty enough to eschew salt) and a dribble of water. Work the water into the ingredients well, before adding a little more until the dough comes together and isn't too sticky. Roll into balls and place atop your finished stew, baking at 200 degrees uncovered for 20 minutes.

17 comments:

Fiona Beckett said...

Must be the weather but I made beef stew and dumplings on Friday too. Like the idea of adding anchovies. They look lovely and light.

shayma said...

mmm how can you say that lizzie? i adore dumplings, all dumplings. and anchovies? the salty taste of the sea. lovely. sorry the weather's been pants in london. x

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

These look to die for. I wish I was coming in from the cold with these on the table made for me instead of being the one snug inside who makes the dinner for everyone else.

I did a beef and anchovy pie a few months back and it was wonderful. I also like anchovies melted down and tossed with broccoli and tagliatelle based on a River Cafe recipe.

gastrogeek said...

what a brilliant idea - I do love proper stew and dumplings, the perfect antidote to this treacherous weather.

Kavey said...

A cunning and tasty plan! I like it!

Your stew and dumplings look gorgeous!

LexEat! said...

You never ever make anything boring, simple, run of the mill do you? I always know when I read your blog that it will be delicious and just a little left of centre. Genius!

Browners said...

Looks awesome. Super comforting. Ideal for such Arctic conditions. Did you have a salad on the side?

Lizzie said...

Fiona - beef stew & dumplings were just the ticket.

Shayma - Don't worry, I've seen the light now!

Sarah - Beef an anchovy pie sounds amazing - have you a recipe? Broccoli and anchovies with pasta is also a favourite of mine.

Gastrogeek & Kavey - thanks!

Lex - Oh, I do - I just don't blog them ;)

Browners - do you know nothing about me by now? SALAD? There was a mound of swede on the side, mashed with an indecent amount of butter.

catty said...

parsley AND anchovie? What, are you trying to kill both me AND @tehbus all at the same time? tsk tsk tsk.. hehe...

foodbymark said...

I break into a sweat at just the idea of making anything vaguely "complicated" in the kitchen. Not that I'm shy of doing it, I just turn it into a military operation. And so I tend to avoid cooking. This does look awesome though.

Catty - you don't like Parsley? You do eat Anchovies though right?

DiscoveryDay said...

Since the days when dumplings sustained me through months of backpacking in Eastern Europe I have always had a soft (and dumpy) spot for them. I think you may have just rekindled it!

Su-Lin said...

Dumplings! You know...I've never had one (that kind, I mean)! Toppings on a pot pie yes but a proper dumpling, no. I had a bad experience with a suet pudding once but that was a just a nasty one served in halls. OK, will have to remember - dumplings in stew. Love the idea of pepping them up a bit.

Helen said...

Gorgeous! I grew up on these kind of dumplings and only discovered the Chinese ones later! I love how you got one of my favourites in there 'grassy freshness'! Nice. I think I need an anchovy and parsley and dumpling and stew and stodge fix.

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Just Cook It said...

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Wendy said...

Oh dear... now I have read this, I have to try adding anchovies to my dumplings! I was a late-in-life lover of dumplings, now I adore them. It's all in the making of them - what a brilliant idea! (But that has goosed my diet!)