The key to this delicious casserole is in the rich beefy stock – a combination of deep flavourful ingredients which simmer together and marinate the seitan chunks to perfection. Charming homemade dumplings that are just slightly misshapen but fluffy inside, with a soggy bottom soaked in delicious gravy. A family favourite which can be served up on Sunday and no one will know the difference.
Beef Casserole with Dumplings
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp non-dairy butter
- 650 g large seitan chunks see notes
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 large garlic cloves crushed
- 6 shallots halved
- 2 celery sticks diced
- 2 carrots thinly sliced
- 2 leeks sliced
- 100 g button mushrooms halved
- 150 ml red wine
- 2 bay leaves fresh or dried
- 2 cloves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Large handful of fresh parsley
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
For the beef-style stock:
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 1 tsp marmite
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce see notes
- 1 tsp liquid smoke or aminos see notes
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast
For the dumplings (makes 8 dumplings):
- 80 g plain flour
- 40 g vegetable suet
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- 50 ml water
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Heat the oil (2 tbsp) and butter (1 tbsp) in a large saucepan until sizzling. Add the seitan chunks (650g) and brown for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle over the flour (2 tbsp), stir well and cook off for 1-2 minutes.
Add the crushed garlic cloves, shallots, celery, carrots, leeks and mushrooms and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile make the stock by adding all of the ingredients to a large jug and whisking until everything is combined. This can also be done in a blender for ease.
Deglaze the pan with the red wine (150ml), followed by the stock, fresh herbs and seasonings. Simmer for 5 minutes before transferring to a large casserole dish. Place in the oven for 1 hour.
Make the dumplings by adding all the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and stirring to combine. Pour in the water and stir with a fork until it comes together into a dough. Divide into 8 equal pieces and roll into balls.
After the first hour, add the dumplings to the top of the stew and place back in the oven for the remaining half hour until they are golden brown. Absolutely perfect served with mash potato stirred through with freshly chopped parsley.
Ready-made seitan chunks can be bought in jars in health shops or online, I recommend Biona, but it's far cheaper to make your own using vital wheat gluten. My personal favourite seitan recipe is from this video by Poppy Lettice for Vegan Seitan Peanut Satays. She shows you exactly how to prepare the seitan, just follow up until she marinades the chunks to use them for this recipe.
Not all wine is vegan, you can check most brands on Barnivore.