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Beef Casserole & Dumplings

I'm never great at using leftovers. I think it stems back to childhood when everything was put back into the fridge (mainly uncovered). I hate the smells of leftover foods stored in the fridge. In fact it got to the point when most weeks I was throwing away more food than I care to admit, so lately I have made a concerted effort to be better. 

I now always clean out my fridge on a weekend. Anything older I put to the front of the fridge and I am trying to use up all leftovers, especially huge amounts like there was of my rib of beef this week.
*If you want to make this without using leftover beef just brown some braising or chuck steak before using.

500g of cooked *rib of beef cut into largish pieces
or 500g chuck or braising steak browned in a pan
3 tbsp olive oil
2 onions peeled and quartered
3 cloves of garlic 
2 dried bay leaves
2 beef oxo cubes or Beef, onion and rosemary pots
1 tbsp gravy granules
100ml white wine
200ml water
A pinch of salt
2 bouquet garni or Knorr herb pots
1 tbsp of dijon mustard
6 large peeled whole carrots

For the dumplings
250g S/R flour
Pinch of salt
125g grated iced cold butter or beef suet
Cold water

Preheat the oven 210˚c

In a large ovenproof pan heat a tbsp of the oil, add the onions and sweat them over a medium heat until the onions are softened and starting to caramelise. Add the remaining oil, bouquet garni & bay leaves and salt to taste. Stir in the mustard.

Next pop the garlic into the casserole dish along with the cooked/browned meat  and the whole carrots. Add the stock cubes, gravy granules, wine and water. Simmer over a high heat, cover and place into a preheated oven, cook for 40 mins, turn the oven down to 110˚c and cook 4 hours. Keep an eye on the liquid and top up with more boiling water if necessary.

Turn the oven up to 180˚c. In a bowl tip the butter/suet into the flour and salt, with a knife stir in enough water to bring the dough together, don't overwork the dough as this will make the dumplings tough. 

Divide the dough into 14 pieces, roll into balls and place on the top of the casserole. Cover with the lid and cook for 30 mins.