Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The Perfect Dumpling

What is a dumpling? In simple terms, it is an essential addition to any stew, casserole or soup, especially in the winter. It's a fluffy, stodgy thing of beauty floating on top of whatever food you have knocked up and for me, it makes me feel happy with the world and more importantly, 'full as a gun'!

Once people - and that includes my own kids - understand what it is that's invading their soup or stew, it's all down to the eating and once you've sunk your spoon or knife into one, things make lots of sense.

Dumplings of course are nothing new and the Asians have been mastering silky smooth dumplings for a lot longer than we have. Whereas the Asian dumpling is a thing of beauty, a smooth and perfectly formed mouthful, the northern dumpling is it's big cousin. And I prefer that version. Experiment with the basic recipe by adding a good grating of strong cheddar cheese, mustard powder and herbs such as fresh thyme.

They aren't difficult to make but when I posted this photo on Instagram recently, some people commented on how they have tried and failed to make the perfect dumpling. So here you go, the failsafe formula that I've been using for years.

Dumplings (for stews, casseroles or soups)
Makes about 6 large dumplings

300g self-raising flour
150g butter, margarine or suet
Salt and pepper
Water

1 - In a large bowl, tip in the flour and a grating of salt and pepper.
2 - Add the butter, margarine or suet. If the latter, just mix in with a spoon but if it's the former, mix together with your fingertips to form large breadcrumbs.
3 - Add 2-3 tablespoons of water and mix together. Keep adding tablespoons of water until it just comes together to form a dough, not too sticky, not too dry.
4 - Half an hour before your stew or soup is ready, add large tablespoons of the dough. If you are cooking on the hob, put on the lid and cook for 25-30 minutes. If in the oven, you have the option of keeping the lid off to form crispy dumplings. Perfect.

1 comment:

Vannesa said...

I just love dumplings but haven't tried making them myself - will definitely be giving these a go they look really yum!!!- thanks Dave