Spicy beef stew with cornmeal dumplings recipe

(No ratings)

Our cornmeal dumplings with beef stew are a warming winter dish. The meaty stew is topped with doughy dumplings for a real comfort food dish.

  • healthy
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 30 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories464 Kcal23%
Fat19 g27%
Saturated Fat8 g40%

Our cornmeal dumplings with beef stew are a comforting meal - perfect for any winter night. Cornmeal dumplings are really popular in Jamaican cuisine and are served as an accompaniment to a variety of dishes. We love the way they soak up the meaty juices from this beef stew. Making your own cornmeal dumplings is so easy. You can also use polenta is you can't find cornmeal.

Why not try our classic dumplings recipe with this dish instead?


  • 2tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1kg diced stewing steak or brisket
  • 3 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 2tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1-1½tsp chilli powder, depending on taste
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1½tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large green pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • Lime wedges, large handful of coriander leaves and chopped jalapeño chilli peppers

For the dumplings:

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 90g polenta or cornmeal
  • ½tsp caster sugar
  • 90g cold butter, grated




  1. Heat the oven to 160C. Heat 1tbsp oil in a casserole, brown the beef in 3 batches over a medium heat; set aside. Heat the rest of the oil in the casserole and cook the onions for 5 mins. Add the carrots and cook for 4 mins more.
  2. Add the cumin, paprika and chilli, and mix well. Add the thyme, chopped tomatoes and 2 cans of water. Return the beef to the pan and add the Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil, then cook in the oven for 3 hours, or until tender. Add the green pepper for the last 4 mins of cooking.
  3. To make the dumplings, mix the flour, polenta, or cornmeal, sugar,1/4tsp salt, butter and 8tbsp water to make a thick, sticky dough. Roll it into 24 balls. Set on top of the casserole, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook on a fast simmer for 15 mins. Add a squeeze of lime, coriander and chopped jalapeños. Serve with rice on the side, if you like.
Top Tip for making Spicy beef stew with cornmeal dumplings

You can freeze the uncooked dumplings, and freeze the cooked chilli. Defrost the chilli separately, then top with the frozen dumplings, cover, and cook for 15 mins.


Trusted, informative, and empathetic – GoodToKnow is the ultimate online destination for mums. Established in 2007, our 15-year-strong archive of content includes more than 18,000 articles, 1,500 how-to videos, and 7,000 recipes.