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Stew….. get in my belly! Jack Frost has come early this year and when the weather is like this, only one thing will do. Beef stew and dumplings.

We welcome the sweet potato into the seasonal calendar Although you’ll find the sweet potato readily available all year, it’ll be at its best nutritionally as well as in taste during its ‘seasonal’ calendar.

Speaking of nutrition, the sweet potato is high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. It’s so high in Vitamin A in fact that compared to regular white potatoes it accounts for 283% of your daily, recommended allowance. But when it comes to making the switch between white and sweet potatoes, I’d highly recommend looking at a comparison chart. Many believe the sweet potato to be ‘better for us’ when in actual fact both are good for you and essential to integrate into your diet- there is a trade of though between the two: whilst the sweet potato is extremely high in Vitamin A compared to the regular white (which accounts for 0% of your GDAs), the sweet potato is higher in sugar, lower in Vitamin C and slightly higher in calories. When it comes to the deciding factor on sweet vs. white, I’d say just go with your preference and your own personal needs.

Beef stew and dumplings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 10 minutes to 2 hours 40 minutes

Serves: 6


  • 500g pack Waitrose Hereford Diced Braising Steak
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 500g chosen root vegetables- I highly recommend carrots, swede, sweet potato, parsnips and celeriac.
  • 250ml Guinness
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp dark brown soft sugar
  • 2 tsp Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients Wild Rosemary

For the dumplings:

  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 50g Atora Light Suet


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Open the pack of beef and remove the paper from the base. Add 2 tablespoons of the flour to the pack, season, then toss the beef cubes in the flour to coat well.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep flameproof casserole dish. Add the floured beef and brown all over for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan.
  3. Add the remaining flour to the pan and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the vegetables, Guinness, tomato purée, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the rosemary and 350ml of water. Stir until it boils then return the meat to the pan. Cover and place in the oven for 1½-2 hours, or until the beef is tender.
  4. While the beef is cooking, prepare the dumplings- Sieve the flour into a bowl, stir in the suet, the remaining rosemary, seasoning and 4-5 tablespoons of cold water. Mix together with a round-bladed knife until the dough comes together. Shape the dough into 8 dumplings, put back in the bowl and cover until ready to cook.
  5. Remove the casserole from the oven and add the dumplings, pushing them just under the surface of the sauce. Cook for a further 25-30 minutes until the dumplings are cooked through. Serve the casserole with mashed potato and prepared fresh vegetables such as a pea, leek and spinach medley.

Cook’s tips
Use beef stock instead of water in step 3, to enhance the flavour.

This recipe was provided by Waitrose, if you’d like more inspiration check out their recipe pagesWaitrose logo.

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