Vegetable Casserole with Dumplings

By DK Publishing From the book Try It! Slow Cooking
Slow-cooked Vegetable Casserole with Dumplings

Dumplings are the perfect addition to a casserole or stew as they make the dish a complete meal. For variety, add other herbs, such as thyme or tarragon, to the parsley in the mixture.

For how many? Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and thickly sliced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 600ml hot vegetable stock for the slow cooker (900ml if using the traditional method)
  • 400g can haricot beans, drained and rinsed
  • few sprigs of rosemary
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 115g vegetable suet
  • 2tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Instructions

For the slow cooker:

Preheat the slow cooker, if required. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat, add the onion, and cook for 3–4 minutes until soft. Season with salt and pepper, then stir through the garlic and chilli flakes. Add the leeks, carrots, and celery and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.

Stir in the plain flour, then gradually stir in the stock. Add the haricot beans and rosemary, and transfer everything to the slow cooker. Cover with the lid and cook on auto/low for 6–8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

About 45 minutes before the end of the cooking time, prepare the dumplings. Mix together the self-raising flour, suet, and parsley and season well. Add about 120ml cold water to form a soft, slightly sticky dough, trickling in more water if it seems too dry. Form into 12 balls and drop them into the stew for the last 30 minutes of cooking. Push them down a little so they are just immersed and cover with the lid. Remove the rosemary, ladle the casserole into warmed bowls, and serve with crusty bread.

For the traditional method:

Preheat the oven to 160°C/ 325°F/ gas 3. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium heat, add the onion, and cook for 3–4 minutes until soft. Season with salt and pepper, then stir through the garlic and chilli flakes. Add the leek, carrots, and celery and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.

Stir in the plain flour, then gradually stir in the stock. Add the haricot beans and rosemary. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and put in the oven for 1 hour, checking on the liquid level as it cooks and topping up with hot stock if needed.

While this is cooking, prepare the dumplings. Mix together the self-raising flour, suet, and parsley and season well. Add about 120ml cold water to form a soft, slightly sticky dough, trickling in more water if it seems too dry. Form into 12 balls and drop them into the stew for the last 30 minutes of cooking. Push them down a little so they are just immersed and cover with the lid. Remove the lid for the final 10 minutes or until the dumplings are browned. Remove the rosemary, ladle the casserole into warmed bowls, and serve with crusty bread.

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