Boiled Beef and Dumplings

In England salt beef is traditionally used for Boiled Beef and Dumplings, a tasty and satisfying one-dish main course.

Cook more meat than you need for a meal-cold salt beef is delicious with a salad or in a sandwich.

5 lb. salt silverside or brisket of beef

8 black peppercorns

1 onion stuck with

2 cloves bouquet garni, consisting of parsley sprigs, 1 thyme spray and 1 bay leaf tied together 12 small onions, peeled and left whole 12 small carrots, scraped and left whole

1 turnip, quartered

1 stalk celery, chopped

7 oz. self-raising flour

1 oz. fresh breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon salt

1 oz. suet, shredded

7 tablespoons cold water

Put the beef in a large saucepan and cover it completely with cold water. Bring the water to the boil and immed-iately pour off the water to remove excess salt. Fill the pan with fresh water. Place the pan over moderate heat and bring the liquid to the boil. As the scum rises to the surface, skim it off with a metal spoon.

Add the peppercorns, onion and cloves and bouquet garni.

Half cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 ½ hours.

Remove the pan from the heat. Remove and discard the onion and clove and bouquet garni. Add the prepared onions, carrots, turnip and celery. Return the pan to the heat and simmer for a further 45 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the dumplings. Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized bowl, add the breadcrumbs and suet and mix thoroughly. Stir in the water with a fork, if necessary adding more water in order to make a light dough. Divide the dough into 12 small pieces. Roll into balls about 1-inch in diameter.

Remove the pan from the heat. Take out the meat and vegetables and arrange them on a heated platter and keep hot. Return the stock to the heat, and turn the temperature up to high. When the liquid boils, add the dumplings. Boil them for 20 minutes.

Remove the cooked dumplings with a slotted spoon and arrange them in a circle around the cooked meat and veg-etables.

Serve immediately.

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