Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Madhouse recipe : Bacon & tomato stew with cheese dumplings

One of the toughest jobs when cooking for kids is working out how to get them to actually eat vegetables, rather than leave them on the side of the plate. As I'm on holiday and I have more time to spend in the kitchen, I've been trying out lots of new recipes, including this one from BBC Good Food for Tomato & Harissa Stew with Cheddar Dumplings. I decided to leave out the harissa and added some bacon, just to tempt the kids to eat it. Success ! It was great fun to make too and used nothing but store cupboard basics. Obviously, in terms of veggies, you can just throw in whatever you have.

Bacon & tomato stew with cheese dumplings

ingredients :

200g bacon lardons or thick bacon, chopped (can be left out if you want a veggie meal - you could also use up leftover chicken from a roast dinner)
1 onion, chopped
1 courgette (I used a yellow courgette that was in the fridge but green is fine too !)
1 red pepper (or a mix of green, red and yellow - about a half of each)
2 x tins of chopped tomatoes
1 stock cube (I used a Spanish stew stock pot for extra flavour)
1tsp paprika
1tsp garlic salt

for the dumplings :

25g butter
200g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
1tsp baking powder
75g cheese (mature cheddar or whatever you have - I used a bag of grated gruyere)
100ml milk

In a large pan, start off by cooking the bacon and onions. (If not using bacon, you'll need to add a glug of olive oil.)

After five minutes or so, add the courgettes. I had a yellow courgette that someone had given me from their garden which added some lovely colour but the normal green courgette is fine too. You need smallish chunks so I cut off both ends, cut it in half, then cut each half into thirds lengthwise before chopping into chunks.

Give it all a good stir, then chop up your peppers and throw those in. Depending on how much liquid/fat you have in the bottom of the pan, you might like to drain it all off before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Add two cans of chopped tomatoes and a can of chickpeas (don't forget to drain and rinse them). Throw in your stock cube and spices. (I used paprika and garlic salt for a lovely hit of smoky spiciness.)

Stir it all up and leave to cook for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 200°C. 

Meanwhile, crack on with the dumplings. Put the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter. Toss in the cheese and mix.

Add the milk and bring it all together into a ball of dough.

Make a long (very fat !) sausage shape on a board. (No need to put down flour.)

Chop into eight pieces and make each piece into a ball.

Transfer the veggies to a casserole dish. Push the dumplings into the stew around the edges of the dish.

Off to the oven for 15-20 minutes until the dumplings are golden brown and cooked through.

The stew is lovely and rich, with lots of great smokiness coming through from the spices. You could add harissa or chilli for an extra level of spice, depending on your tastes. The dumplings are fabulous - soft, buttery, cheesy ... I definitely need to add dumplings to other stews and casseroles as they're great for soaking up the cooking juices and sauces. A big hit for the whole family !


  1. I think I am going to have to give this a try. It's something my family would love x

    1. That's exactly what I thought when I spotted the recipe ! Hope you enjoy it xx

  2. This looks lovely. I will have to give it a try, dumplings are something I never think of adding to things.

  3. I'm not a lover of courgettes but maybe they will be suitably disguised and I'll eat them. If I can finally master dumplings this will be a bonus too.

    1. You can definitely leave out the courgettes or maybe replace them with another type of veg. The dumplings were so so easy to make, I was surprised !

  4. This looks really delicious and something we would absolutely enjoy in our house!

  5. Just the ticket to warm and fill looks delicious


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...