A Glug of Oil

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Beef Stew and Dumplings Recipe

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe 

My Mum's Beef Stew is the best! What with the cold weather and the way things are with money everywhere these days, this stew can feed up to eight people served with bread and potatoes. It can even be made in a slow cooker.

Beef stew and dumplings recipe - slow cooker beef stew.
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Yes, there are dumplings underneath all that stew - I should have taken a picture before I added more of the beef stew!

Apart from giving it a stir now and then it can look after itself most of the time too. So please don't be put off by the long list of ingredients. Pearl barley can be found in any good supermarket.

This amount will serve 4 very hungry people easily but served with bread or boiled potatoes you could easily serve eight. 

Can you Freeze Beef Stew?

You can also freeze it in portions if you wanted to and all it would require once defrosted before reheating.

But I would make the dumplings fresh when you have reheated it - just add the dumpling mixture on top of the hot stew and cook uncovered for about 25 minutes.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Yes, you can make this beef stew and dumplings in a slow cooker. Once the stew is done just add the dumpling mixture on top of the bubbling stew. Turn the heat to low and remove the lid. Cook the dumplings for about 25 minutes.

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe card below!

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Yield: 6-8
Author: Jan Bennett
Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe - with Dumplings

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe - with Dumplings

Serves 6 to 8 people depending on what you serve it with if anything but you can add crusty bread or boiled potatoes.
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 4 H & 25 MTotal time: 4 H & 45 M


  • 1 tablespoon pearl barley - soaked and drained beforehand
  • 2 tbsp of dried mixed pulses - soaked and drained beforehand
  • 600g braising steak
  • Approx 800 ml water
  • 4 carrots - sliced
  • 2 onions - sliced
  • 2 stalks celery - sliced into chunks
  • 400g can of Heinz classic vegetable soup
  • 400g can of Oxtail soup
  • ½ a 62 g packet of Knorr minestrone soup mix - needed towards the end for thickening
  • 1 x 62g pack Knorr oxtail soup mix - also needed for thickening
  • 1 small handful of macaroni or pasta shapes
  • 2 Oxo beef cubes
  • 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce


  1. Get a very large saucepan with a lid or a large casserole with a lid.
  2. Trim the braising steak if you need to of any fat and cut into bite-size pieces and put into the casserole along with approx. 800 ml of water.
  3. Remember, you will add flavour and thicken the stew more towards the end when you add the packet soup mixes.
  4. Bring to the boil and remove any scum that might have formed from the meat with a spoon and discard.
  5. Add the cans of vegetable and oxtail soup along with the carrots, celery, onions, pearly barley and mixed pulses.
  6. Bring back to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Add the Oxo cubes, macaroni/pasta and stir.
  7. Partly cover with a lid and simmer over low heat for 3 hours stirring occasionally.
  8. DO NOT mix the packet soups as per their instructions. You want them only to thicken and flavour the stew. Instead; mix them in a cup with little more than half a cup of cold water to form a thick paste - gradually add to the simmering pan stirring all the time to avoid any lumps.
  9. Simmer for a further hour. There is no need to be exact with the cooking times - all you need to do is make sure the meat is cooked and tender.
  10. You shouldn't need to thicken anymore.
  11. Add another OXO or a little more Worcestershire sauce if you need more flavour, which it really shouldn't do if you used all the soups mentioned.
  12. Add a little more water if you need to (if it looks too thick).
  13. Finally, make the dumplings following the instructions on the pack. 'Atora' shredded suet mix is the best. When the dumpling mix is ready put the dumplings on top of the simmering stew to cook for about 25 minutes.
  14. You don't need to serve with anything else apart from nice fresh bread, but if you want it to stretch further just serve with boiled potatoes.


Braising/Casserole steak should be cooked at least 3 hours - the longer the better or it will be tough. This stew can be kept in a fridge and reheated the next day if you want to, or it can even be frozen.

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