This creamy mushroom, butter bean and cauliflower stew with cheddar dumplings is the epitome of autumnal comfort food. It’s rich and seemingly decadent, yet is hearty and humble with its use of ordinary everyday vegetables. I’ve made the mushroom the hero here but really you could use any vegetable you like. What I have done however, is make this a creamy stew rather than a gravy or tomato based stew.
One of the frustrating things about living so rurally as we do is that sometimes we can’t get certain ingredients. Very often it’s stuff I don’t use much anyway but stuff that I know I could pick up really easily in London. I had a hell of a time trying to find pumpkin puree for a recent recipe. So much so that I turned to amazon which I don’t really like to do. For this recipe I struggled to get veggie suet. Couldn’t find it anywhere so I made non-suet dumplings, which to be honest are rather fabulous and might be my new ‘go-to’ dumpling recipe. I used a mix of cold butter and cheddar instead and I’m so glad I did.
for the stew
- butter and olive oil
- 5 of 6 medium chestnut mushrooms
- fresh rosemary
- fresh thyme
- 4 spring onions – chopped root top tip
- 1 stick of celery – chopped
- 1 medium carrot – chopped
- a few cauliflower florets
- 3 or 4 new potatoes – chopped
- 1 lite of vegetable stock made up of 3/4 stock and 1/4 white wine
- 100ml cream
- 1 400g tin of butter beans
- 4 large kale leaves
for the cheddar dumplings
- 250g self-raising flour
- 100g cold butter – finely chopped
- 50g cold strong cheddar cheese – grated
- 1 teaspoon of your favourite herbs – chopped, fresh or dry
- a little cold water to mix
I’m using my 30cm shallow casserole dish with a lid but any casserole dish will work, as long as it has a lid or you can fashion one with some foil or a tea towel.
Firstly you want to sauté your mushrooms. I actually use a separate non-stick frying pan for this because I prefer not cooking mushrooms in cast iron. I like to get them nicely browned. So sauté them for about 8 mins on a gentle heat with plenty of butter and pepper and rosemary. Once they have some colour, set them aside.
Start the stew by gently warming some olive oil and butter in a pan and then salting the onions, celery and onion until they begin to soften. Roughly 5 mins.
Add the cauliflower and potatoes and gently sauté them for another 5 – 8 mins until they begin to soften. Stir in some grated garlic and some fresh herbs of your choice.
Pour in the stock and white wine followed by the kale and butter beans. Stir it all together and set it on the very lowest heat for 2 hours.
Meanwhile make your dumplings. Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and rub the butter and cheese into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Pour in a splash or two of cold water and begin to bring the mixture together with your hands. Work quickly and lightly to ensure you don’t overwork the flour. Once the mixture begins to form into a dough you are done. (You may need a little more water. Just add it a splash as a time.)
Divide the dumplings into small golf-ball sized balls. Set aside until you’re ready to eat. The dumplings take 20 mins to cook through. Sit them on top of the stew and place the lid on. They should rise and sweep to a fluffy cloud!
For more stew recipes, check out Dom in the Kitchen
Eat and of course, enjoy!