2–3 tbsp light olive oil,
2lb 4oz braising beef, cut into cubes, 9oz shallots or silverskin pickling onions, halved,
2 carrots, thinly sliced,
7oz button mushrooms, left whole,
1¾oz plain flour,
18fl oz ale,
5fl oz beef stock,
2–3 tbsp onion marmalade,
1–2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce,
3 bay leaves, gravy browning (optional),
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dumplings:
6oz self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting,
1¾oz suet, shredded
3-4 tbsp hot horseradish sauce, from a jar,
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Preparation time Max 60 minutes
1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/140ºC Fan/Gas 3.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a deep ovenproof casserole dish over a high heat. Add the beef in batches and brown all over, adding more oil if needed. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour another tablespoon oil into the casserole dish, then add the shallots, carrots and mushrooms and fry for few minutes, stirring.
3. Meanwhile, put the flour in a bowl, whisk in a little ale to make a smooth paste, then whisk in the rest of the ale.
4. Return the beef to the casserole, and then pour in the ale mixture and stock. Stir over a high heat until thickened and boiling. Stir in the onion marmalade, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and gravy browning (if using) and cook, stirring, for few minutes. Season with salt and pepper, cover, then bake for 2–2½ hours, or until the meat is tender.
5. To make the dumplings, put the flour and suet in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Gradually add 150ml/5fl oz water and stir to make a soft, sticky dough. Tip onto a floured work surface and gently knead until smooth.
6. Flour a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Put the dough on top and roll out to about 15x25cm/6x8in. Spread over the horseradish cream and scatter with parsley. Roll up the dough, from the long side, to make a Swiss roll shape. Chill for 45 minutes, then slice into eight pieces.
7. When the beef is tender, remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 220ºC/200ºCFan /Gas 7. Remove the bay leaves and add the dumplings. Return to the oven, without the lid, for 25 minutes, or until the dumplings are golden and puffed up. Serve piping hot.