Beef Stew with Crunchy Topping

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Yield: 6


  • 1 kg beef steak (eg cross cut blade, blade etc...)
  • olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely sliced
  • 100g button mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped herbs (parsley, rosemary, thyme etc...)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 25g butter
  • 1/2 cup grated tasty cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked


Heat olive oil in a frying pan and cook beef in batches until golden brown.  Set beef aside.
Add a little more oil to the pan and cook onions, carrot, garlic and celery over a gentle heat for 20 minutes until very soft.  Transfer vegetables and beef to a large saucepan and add mushrooms, herbs, tomato paste and stock.  Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 2 ½ - 3 hours until meat is tender.  Once meat is cooked thicken the liquid with 2 tablespoons of  flour mixed to a paste with cold water or cooled cooking liquid.
Preheat oven to 200 C.
Place 1 cup of self raising flour and salt in a bowl, grate in butter and rub until mixture is the texture of coarse crumbs.  Mix in cheese and then make a well in the centre and then mix in egg and milk using a knife.  The dough should be slightly sticky.  Pour the stew into an oven proof dish and pluck small balls of dough and drop them onto the stew.  Bake for 15 minutes or until the topping is golden and firm.

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