So, for Winter Dumplings, you need to start with a soup. Not just any soup of course; you need a deeply savory soup just filled with juicy, tender beef chunks, classic vegetables, and plenty of aromatic flavor from the sherry and Worcestershire sauce. Then, with the perfect platform in place, you can place the titular Winter Dumplings. These aren’t just any dumplings! They are tender, buttery, and filled with fragrant herb flavor. This is a soup that doesn’t just stick to your ribs; it sticks in your memory as a beloved favorite!

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For the soup:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 strips bacon, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck steak, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup sherry
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (2.5 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 cups mixed root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, and parsnips, roughly chopped and of your choice

For the herb dumplings:

  • 1 1/3 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup herbs, of your choice, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/3 cup milk


Step 1 –In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan with a lid, heat 1/2 of the oil over high heat.

Step 2 –Add the onion, the celery, and the bacon to the hot oil and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5-6 minutes.

Step 3 –Add the garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute.

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Step 4 –Transfer the onion mixture to a bowl.

Step 5 –Toss the beef in the plain flour, shaking off the excess.

Step 6 –Heat the remaining oil in the pot over high heat.

Step 7 –In batches, add the beef and cook, stirring, until browned, about 4-5 minutes.

Step 8 –Transfer the browned beef to a plate and set aside.

Step 9 –Add the sherry to the pan to cook, scraping any browned bits at the bottom of the pot, until reduced by half, about 5-6 minutes.

Step 10 –Add the Worcestershire sauce and the tomato paste to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced slightly, about 2-3 minutes.

Step 11 –Add the onion mixture, the browned beef, the beef stock, the apple cider, the tomatoes, and the bay leaves back into the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low.

Step 12 –Cover the pot and simmer until the beef is tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes-2 hours.

Step 13 –Add the mixed root vegetables to the mixture and cook until just tender, about 40 minutes.

Step 14 –Place the self-rising flour and the herbs in a bowl and season to taste.

Step 15 –Grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture.

Step 16 –Using your clean hand, mix the frozen butter and the flour together until fine crumbs form.

Step 17 –Gradually add the milk and mix into a rough dough.

Step 18 –Using lightly floured hands, roll the dough into 12 balls and pop them on top of the stew, spaced out.

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Step 19 –Cover and cook until the dumplings have swollen to twice their size and are cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Step 20 –Serve.