Finishing up our week of sheep and activities inspired by Julia Dweck’s “Mary Had A Sleepy Sheep,” , and including our hand and finger print sheep, I’ve chosen to share our recipe for stew and dumplings. Or, as we’ve come to call them: “Shepherd’s Stew and Sleepy Sheep Dumplings”! I suppose technically a shepherd’s stew should contain lamb, but we have stuck with our original recipe and used beef. It’s a pretty basic recipe, but there are differences around the world on how stews are made. This is my Mom’s recipe.
Ingredients for Shepherd’s Stew
- Stewing beef, about a pound
- Onion, 1 or 2, sliced in strips or anyway you like
- Potatoes, 2-4, cubed
- Carrots, 2-4, thickly sliced
- Celery, 2 stalks, sliced
- Peas (fresh or frozen), as many as you’d like
- Garlic, a clove or two will do, minced or finely chopped
- Bay leaf
- Salt & pepper to taste
How we make our Stew and Dumplings
1) Brown the meat and onions.
2) Add water.
3) Add other ingredients. Add extra water if needed until it just covers the ingredients.
4) Simmer for a long time or until veg are cooked.
5) Make the dumplings using the recipe below.
6) Add the dumplings on top of the stew and simmer for about 20 minutes.
7) Take dumplings out onto a plate and remove the bay leaf.
8) Thicken the stew (if desired). Mix some flour with cold water in a cup and mix until it’s the flour has dissolved and then add it into the stew and stir until the stew thickens.
9) Add salt and pepper to taste.
How we make our dumplings
- 2 Cups Flour
- 4 tsp. Baking powder
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 1 Cup Milk or water
1) Mix the dry ingredients together.
2) Add the milk.
3) Mix to a soft dough. Do not over-mix.
4) Place gently on top of the stew using a spoon. To prevent the dough sticking to the spoon, dip the spoon in the stew broth before picking up each dough ball.
5) Cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
To make the Sleepy Sheep, I made both larger and smaller dumplings to create the body and head. I used some green beans for the legs, and cut some raw carrot eyes and mouth. I used a little Japanese bento pick to represent Mary.
This stew can easily be made in larger batches so there will be leftovers for the freezer for another day. This is what we do! The stew would also be a lovely winter meal taken to work in a thermos to keep it warm, and a slice of bread on the side.
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