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Mince and Dumplings

Embrace autumn with a great, big hug of a dish: comforting mince and dumplings.


  • For the mince

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 2 celery sticks, peeled, finely sliced

  • 2 medium carrots, diced

  • 500g/1lb 2oz lean beef mince

  • 1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes

  • 2 tbsp tomato purée

  • 350ml/12fl beef stock

  • 150ml/5fl oz red wine

  • pinch caster sugar

  • 1 bay leaf

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • For the dumplings

  • 250g/10oz self-raising flour, plus extra for rolling

  • 125g/5oz shredded beef suet

  • ½ tsp fine sea salt

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  • 1.

    Heat the oil in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole and cook the onion, garlic, celery and carrots for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft and pale golden-brown.

  • 2.

    Add the minceand cook for a further five minutes.

  • 3.

    Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, beef stock, red wine, sugar and bay leaf. Add a good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • 4.

    For the dumplings, put the flour in a bowl and stir in the suet, salt and parsley. Make a well in the centre and add enough cold water - you’ll need around 200ml/7fl oz - to mix to a soft, spongy dough. Use lightly floured hands to roll into 12 small balls.

  • 5.

    Place the dumplings carefully on top of the mince. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook over a medium heat for 18-20 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked through and well risen.

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