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As of December, I will be moving out of my parents’ house in with my other half (cue me dancing around like a loon for half an hour). Because of this, I am trying to find cheap and healthy (ish) dinners to help us stretch our food costs out a little. I purchased a slow cooker during the week and am keen to try it out so decided to try it out and learn my mother’s vegetable stew recipe at the same time. Double win.
The slow cooker is a CookWorks brand cooker, 6.5 litre and only cost me £20. Bargain price and will be worth it’s weight in gold when we can just throw stuff in it, pop it on and come home to lovely food.
Stew Recipe & Dumplings (gotta have dumplings)
Serves 3 – 4 people.
For the stew:
1 -2 sachets beef casserole mix or preferred stock
1 small onion
3 – 4 chicken breasts
Plain flour for coating.
1 – 3 pints of warm water.
For the dumplings:
1/2 tsp salt & pepper
228g Self Raising Flour
12 tbsp cold water
1) Peel all the veg. Cut the potato into quarters. Cut the parsnips and the carrot into bite-sized chunks.
2) Place the veg at the bottom of the slow cooker. Place peeled small onion into the middle. Do not chop.
3) Coat chicken breasts in a light dusting of flour and place in the cooker, around the onion.
4) Add one sachet of stock in 1 pint of warm water. Add to pot. If more is needed, add up to another 1/2 pint of water until vegetables and chicken are covered. If you have to add more than 1.5, mix up the other sachet. It all depends on the size of your slow cooker.
5) Cover and cook on low for 10 – 11 hours or on high for 7 – 8 hours.
6) Make the dumplings by mixing the flour, suet, salt and pepper in a bowl. Gradually add 10 of the tbsps of water
7) When the dough starts to come together, start to gather together with your hands. Gradually add the water as needed to form into a dough that’s not too sticky.
8) Cut the dough into 6 – 8 equal pieces and roll into balls.
9) Place in a bowl, cover and place in fridge.
10) Half an hour before the end of cooking, add the dumplings. They are cooked when you can insert a knife easily, and it comes out relatively cleanly.
Cal per serving (without dumplings): 543 – 463
Cal per serving (with dumplings): 871 – 815
Price whole dish (without dumplings): £4.59 – £3.80
Price whole dish (with dumplings): £4.45 – £5.24
Price per serving (without dumplings): £1.15 – £1.27
Price per serving (with dumplings): £1.48 – £1.31
I’ve put in the figures for both with and without dumplings and some people may prefer crusty bread.
The chicken seriously just fell apart. It was glorious. I’m not even a huge meat fan but would gladly eat this again.
To me, this is a perfect dish. It’s warming, it’s tasty and it’s quick to prepare. For my other half, this is going to be a different story. He doesn’t like parsnips as he calls them the “devil’s potatoes”. It doesn’t help that he doesn’t like most vegetables anyway, fussy so-&-so that he is. Will have to find alternatives for the parsnips but I’m sure I can think of something. Any ideas are greatly appreciated 🙂
Hope you like, and if you try, let me know how it goes.
Cheers for now,