Heston Blumenthal's traditional minced beef and dumplings recipe

Heston Blumenthal's traditional minced beef and dumplings recipe

Big flavoured and deeply comforting — the perfect dish for autumn. This recipe is full of little techniques that help intensify the flavours, and it can be prepared up to step 3 a day ahead.


  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 450g (15.9 oz) British Beef Shin & Bone Marrow
  • 2 x 200g pack lean beef mince
  • 300ml (10.6 fl oz) red wine
  • 2 x 200g Finishing Jus for Beef
  • 1 organic Bouquet Garni
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 200g (7.1 oz) button mushrooms, quartered
  • 70g (2.5 oz) tomato purée
  • 250g (8.8 oz) passata
  • 15g (0.5 oz) Dijon mustard
  • 0.5 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp Mushroom Ketchup
  • 1 cup thyme sprigs, curly parsley and chives, to finish
For the dumplings
  • 175g (6.2 oz) self-raising flour
  • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • 10g (0.4 oz) chives
  • 10g (0.4 oz) curly parsley leaves
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 0.5 lemon, finely grated zest only
  • 90g (3.2 oz) shredded suet
  • 50ml (1.8 fl oz) whole milk
  • 2.5 tbsp unsalted butter


  • Cuisine: English
  • Recipe Type: Main
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Preparation Time: 35 mins
  • Cooking Time: 185 mins
  • Serves: 4


  1. Preheat the oven to 120ºC, gas mark ½. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large flameproof casserole, add the diced shin and marrowbone and cook for 3–5 minutes, until nicely browned. Lift out and set aside.
  2. Remove excess oil from the pan, leaving a thin layer. Add the mince and cook for 3–4 minutes, stirring until browned. Lift out and set aside.
  3. Pour the red wine into the pan, bring to a simmer then ignite with a blowtorch (or boil for 5 minutes to evaporate the alcohol). Stir in the jus, beef, bouquet garni, 1 star anise and enough water to just cover (about 300ml). Bring to a simmer, cover and bake for 2 hours or until the shin meat is falling apart. Leave to cool completely. Remove the star anise, marrowbone and bouquet garni. Shred the shin meat.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a separate pan and gently cook the onion and remaining star anise for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the carrots and continue to cook until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for 1–2 minutes then stir in the tomato purée and cook for 5 minutes until the mixture turns bright red. Add the passata, simmer gently for 10 minutes then set aside to cool. Remove the star anise.
  5. To make the dumplings, mix the flour, thyme leaves, freshly chopped chives and parsley, mustard, salt and lemon zest in a stand-up mixer using the dough hook until it forms a fine crumb. Add suet and milk and mix until the dough just comes together. Allow to stand, covered, for 30 minutes. Roll into 24 even-sized balls.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Stir the cooked vegetables into the casserole along with the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, mushroom ketchup, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Heat the butter in a pan until sizzling then cook the dumplings for 2–3 minutes until golden. Lay them on top of the casserole, pressing down gently. Bake for 25–30 minutes until the dumplings are cooked and the casserole is heated through. Finish with thyme leaves and freshly chopped parsley and chives.

Recipe courtesy of Heston Blumenthal for Waitrose.com

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