Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Mince with herb dumplings

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 6
From Hairy Bikers' Meals on Wheels


  1. For the mince, heat the oil in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole dish and cook the onion, garlic, celery and carrots for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened and lightly coloured. Add the beef and cook with the vegetables for a further five minutes until the mince begins to brown, stirring regularly to break up the meat.

  2. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, beef stock, sugar and bay leaf. Add a good pinch of salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. To make the dumplings, put the flour in a bowl and stir in the suet, salt and parsley, rosemary and thyme. Make a well in the centre and add enough cold water - you’ll need around 200ml/7fl oz - to mix to a soft, spongy dough. Lightly flour your hands and roll the mixture into 12 small balls.

  4. Stir the mince well and remove from the heat. Drop the dumplings carefully on top of the mince then cover with a tightly fitting lid and return the pan to a medium heat. Cook for 18-20 minutes or until the dumplings are well risen.


For the mince

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 500g/1lb 2oz beef mince
  • 1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 450ml/16fl oz beef stock, fresh or made with a cube
  • pinch caster sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dumplings

  • 250g/9oz self-raising flour
  • 125g/4½oz beef suet, shredded
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp finely chopped thyme

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