John Torode's stew and dumplings recipe

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Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 30 mins

This delicious beef stew couldn't be simpler - just make it in one pot, pop it in the oven and serve it up a few hours later with dumplings.

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


  • 2kg stewing steak, such as beef shin or neck, diced
  • 100g plain flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 30g beef dripping or lard, melted
  • 675g potatoes, quartered
  • 225g onions, sliced
  • 1 litre beef stock

For the dumplings:

  • 300g suet
  • 700g self-raising flour
  • 300ml warm water




  1. Heat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Trim any excess fat from the diced meat. Take a large plastic bag and put the flour in it, seasoning the flour well. Drop the meat in the bag and shake it like mad to coat all the meat in the seasoned four.
  2. Melt the dripping or lard in a casserole. Add the meat and onions and fry well, stirring all the time. Add the potatoes and stir.
  3. Pour in the stock (or even water) and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to take up the flour and all the flavour. Cover with a lid or foil.
  4. Put the stew in the oven, reduce the heat to 140°C/gas mark 1 and leave it there for 3 hrs.
  5. To make the dumplings, mix the suet, flour and some salt in a big bowl and stir in the warm water (this will make a heavy mixture). Roll the dumplings into balls about the size of golf balls.
  6. Take about 100ml of gravy from the stew and put it in a saucepan with 500ml water. Bring to the boil. You will need to cook the dumplings in batches - so drop half of them in the pan and cook for 10 minutes, turning so they cook evenly and puff up. Lift the dumplings out of the broth and keep warm while you cook the remainder.
  7. Either serve the dumplings in a bowl separately from the stew, or gently stir them into the stew before serving (John Torode's favourite way!).
Top Tip for making John Torode's stew and dumplings

John advises sealing the meat well as it helps the flavour. Use a cut with real flavour like shin or neck, but let it cook slowly and for a long time.

John Torode
Australian-British celebrity chef and TV presenter

John Torode is one of the UK's most well known celebrity chef, having been a judge on popular television cooking shows, Masterchef, Celebrity Masterchef and Junior Masterchef for over ten years. Originally from Australia, John began his cooking career at 16 years old after leaving school to attend catering college. By 1991, he had moved to London where he soon began working at the famous restaurant, Le Pont de la Tour and Quaglinos as a sous chef and was where he met his fellow co-host Greg Wallace. John was shortly after approached by ITV This Morning in 1996 and continued the role til 2000. By 2005, Masterchef was relaunched on BBC with Torode and Wallace as the presenters and by 2011, the show was sold to over 25 countries. Alongside this, John has created 11 successful cook books and has had many of own series including John Torode's Australia, John Torode's Argentina, A cook abroad, John Torode's Malaysian Adventure, The Korean Food Tour and many more. At the heart of all Johns food is simplicity and family. He said his nanna's cooking was one of things inspired him to be a chef and even though the food she cooked was simple, it was always full of flavour and delicious. He best remembers her for her awesome cauliflower cheese, her caramel slice and apple tea cake. While we might not have the recipe for John's nanna's  recipes, we do have plenty of his recipes designed for indulgent but easy homecooking.