When the weather turns cold you crave a hearty meal like this lamb casserole with dumplings.
There is nothing better than sitting down to a meal after a brisk walk in the woods with the family and watching the grandchildren tuck into a bowl of grandad’s casserole.
I took inspiration from a variety of recipes both on the web and from some old cookbooks. With a little trial and error, I settled on this recipe which I want to share. A lovely winter warmer of tender slow-cooked lamb and juicy vegetables topped with plump herby dumplings.
For those who don’t know English dumplings are balls of suet dough which are then poached on top of a stew or dishes like the lamb casserole.
This casserole is best made with good quality cubed lamb from the top of the leg or the shoulder which when cooked slowly, tenderises beautifully and contains far less fat than other cheaper cuts of lamb.
Don’t forget some fresh crusty bread to soak up all the juices from the bottom of the bowl!
If you are a fan of casseroles try the slow-roasted duck legs, I make it all the time.
Lamb Casserole with Dumplings
For the casserole
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 600 g lamb boneless shoulder or leg trimmed of excess fat, meat cubed
- 2-3 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 knob butter
- 1 onion large, chopped
- 2 Garlic finely chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 400 ml hot lamb stock I use 2 Knorr Lamb Stockpots
- 300 ml red wine
- 1 tbsp (affiliate link)worcester sauce
- 2 carrots medium, diced
- 1 potato large, diced
- 1 parsnip medium, diced
- 100 g mushrooms sliced
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 sprig thyme
For the dumplings
- 100 g self-raising flour
- 50 g shredded suet Atora
- 1 pinch salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp rosemary leaves finely chopped
- 1 tsp thyme leaves finely chopped
- crusty bread
To Make the Casserole
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 180℃, fan 160℃.
- Put the flour in a large bowl and season well. Toss the lamb in the seasoned flour so it's well coated. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil with the butter in a large flameproof casserole dish or deep ovenproof sauté pan.
- Tip in the lamb and fry over a high heat for 5 mins, turning over occasionally, until no longer pink and starting to brown. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.
- Add the diced vegetables except the potato to the dish or pan with another tablespoon of oil if needed, and fry over a medium-high heat for 5 mins, or until just starting to brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 min, then the tomato purée and keep stirring for about 30 seconds. Pour in a little of the red wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Slowly add the rest of the wine and the stock, stirring all the time.
- Return the lamb to the pan along with the potato, mushrooms, rosemary and thyme. Cover and cook in the oven for 1¾ hours.
To Make the Dumplings
- Put the flour in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the suet and rub together with your fingers to make rough crumbs. Stir in the rosemary, thyme and parsley, then pour in 2 tablespoons of cold water and mix using a round bladed knife to a soft dough. Cut the dough into 8 even-sized pieces and shape into balls.
- Gently place the dumplings on the surface of the casserole and cook in the oven, uncovered, for 20 more mins until theyare risen and the lamb is meltingly tender.
- Scatter with parsley and serve with crusty bread.