This Beef and Dumplings recipe is for the dumpling lovers! Hearty beef stew with large fluffy homemade dumplings comes together in just a little over 90 mins.
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My husband’s birthday was a few weeks ago, right in the midst of the shelter in place orders that we were going through here in California.
Honestly, I felt horrible that his birthday fell right in the middle of so much heavy news.
Although I was sad, he was a trooper. His huge heart reassured me that he was just happy to be home with his wife that loved him.
Despite the fact that we couldn’t go anywhere to celebrate, I did try and make it a little special by making him these Beef and Dumplings.
Thankfully, this meal makes him extremely happy because it is so flavorful and he loves the big fluffy dumplings.
It really is the perfect comfort food for celebrations or when you just need to feel warm and cozy on the inside.
Best Beef For Stew
Believe it or not, tougher more affordable cuts of beef like chuck roast make the best stew. This is because tougher cuts hold up better to the longer cooking time due to the higher level of collagen. In contrast, more tender cuts of beef become tough with the length of time it takes to cook a stew.
For stew that yields flavorful fork tender beef use any of the following cuts: Chuck, Chuck Shoulder, Chuck-Eye Roast or Top Chuck. See this article for even more beef cut options.
Pro Tip: Additionally, the secret to yielding fork tender beef for this Beef and Dumplings recipe is to braise the beef and then do a slow simmer covered, for about an hour before adding the carrots. If after 1 hour the beef is still not tender enough, let simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes.
What Herbs Go With Beef
I love cooking with herbs and spices because of the amount of flavor that they brings to a dish. Without them, recipes taste flat and very boring. Here are three herb combinations that can be used for this Beef and Dumplings recipe. (Want to learn how to become a Flavor Master using herbs and spices? This free tutorial will get you well on your way.)
- For more of an Italian flair use Basil, Rosemary and Oregano in 1-1 1/2 tsp proportions. Note: If using dried rosemary, using this tool is highly recommended.
- A traditional take on stew uses the spices seen in the recipe; Thyme, Marjoram and Bay Leaf.
- Another fun flavor combination for this stew, use about 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley, oregano and thyme added just before dropping the dumplings into the stew.
How To Make Easy Beef Stew
Here are the basic steps to creating a flavorful Beef Stew with Dumplings.
- Cut beef, dredge in flour mixture and sear pieces until browned. Remove beef from Dutch oven.
- Add remaining flour to Dutch oven and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring consistently.
- Add beef back into pot along with tomato paste, onion (diced), garlic (crushed), herbs and broth. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer. Cook covered for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in carrots and half and half. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 10-15 mins.
- Mix together dough for dumplings.
- Add in green beans and bring stew back to a simmer.
- Using an ice cream scoop, drop dumplings into stew leaving a small amount of space between dumplings. Cook covered on med/low heat for 20-25 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through.
Beef Stew with Cream (or Half and Half)
Let me first start by saying, the addition of heavy cream (aka heavy whipping cream) or half and half is completely optional. However, adding it brings an additional layer of creaminess that makes this Beef Stew with Dumplings completely out of this world.
Dumplings For Stew
The addition of dumplings to this beef stew adds the perfect finishing touch of a fluffy biscuit that is cooked in the rich beef gravy. These dumplings are very easy to make with simple ingredients. However, fresh chopped chives or parsley may be added to the dough for an additional layer of flavor. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making dumplings.
- Heavy cream or half and half may be used to make these dumplings.
- This recipe makes a little more dumplings than the average dumplings recipe. This is was done intentionally because we love dumplings in our house.
- It is best to remember that this dough is wetter and stickier than a traditional biscuit dough.
- If the dumplings touch while cooking, the final product will still taste great. Just try to leave a little room around each dumpling.
- When mixing the dough together, first mix all the dry ingredients and then slowly add in the cream in batches.
- As with other baking recipes, be careful to not over mix the dough. It is fine if there are still a few smaller lumps left before dropping the biscuits into the stew.
More Delicious Stew Recipes
Additional Family Friendly Comfort Meals
Beef and Dumplings
- 2 lb boneless beef chuck roast *cut into large bite size pieces
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp balck pepper
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 6 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup half and half *or heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 1/2 tsp marjoram
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large onion *diced
- 4 med carrots *cut into bite sized 1 inch pieces
- 14 oz bag frozen green beans
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups + 1 tbsp half and half *or heavy whipping cream
- Cut beef. Mix together flour, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Working in batches, toss beef in flour mixture coating well. Save any extra flour from mixture.
- Warm a dutch oven over med/high heat. Add oil and working in batches brown beef in oil. Remove beef and set aside.
- Add any remaining flour to dutch oven and cook stirring frequently for about 1-2 mins. Stir in browned beef, tomato paste, thyme, marjoram, onions, garlic, bay leaves and beef broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook covered for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Add carrots and half half. Simmer covered for about 10-15 mins.
- Meanwhile, measure ingredients for dumplings and mix.
- Stir in green beans to dutch oven and bring back to a simmer.
- Using an ice cream scoop measure dumplings evenly into stew. Cook covered for 20-25 mins. (Dumplings should be cooked through, fluffy and pass the toothpick test.)