Trinidad Stew Beef with Herbed Dumplings (recipe)

Trinidad Stew Beef with Dumplings

I was all set to make a chicken paella this morning, that was until I learnt about the ‘Waiter there’s something in my stew’ challenge which ends tonight. See these days nothing gets me more excited than the 101 food blog challenges that seem to pop up every other minute. I mostly enjoy them because I think they are great way to find new interesting bloggers, and likewise it’s a good way for bloggers to find me :) I also enjoy them because they force me to revisit my recipe books in new and creative ways.

Stews are something that I don’t make as often as I did a few years ago so I thought it would be interesting to revisit one, a local recipe this time around, that exemplifies the multicultural fusion nature of Trinidadian cooking. From the African influence of initially caramelizing meat, to the European addition of beer, to the presence of Asian soy sauce the only thing that this dish was missing was some curry! But don’t worry I served it with a side of caramelized and fried curried onions… so yum!

And don’t worry, I -will- eventually get around to making that chicken paella as well :)


Trinidad Stew Beef with Herbed Dumplings
(adapted from a recipe in the Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook)

Ingredients:

2 lbs stewing beef, cubed
2 tbsp oil
4 tbsp sugar
2 large onions, sliced
1 bottle beer (12 oz)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp basil
salt and pepper to taste
dumplings (recipe below)

METHOD:

1. In a heavy frying pan or skillet, heat oil, add sugar and allow to burn until dark brown. (It has been pointed out to me by Marsha and Sylvie in the comments below that I should emphasize the -until dark brown- part … you don’t want it to turn black… this can happen in the blink of an eye so be vigilant. If the sugar ‘siezes’ up when the meat is added don’t stress either, it will redissolve)

2. Add seasoned beef and stir well to coat pieces of meat
3. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring constantly
4. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes more

5. Stir in beer, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and basil

6. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until meat is tender (60-90 minutes)
7. Add dumplings to hot stew

Herbed Dumplings:
Sift 1 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt. Stir in 1/2-1 cup coconut milk. Dough should be soft not stiff. Add 1 tsp dried herbs.

Drop by spoonfuls.

8. Cover and continue to cook for 15 minutes
9. Adjust salt and pepper and remove bay leaves
10. Serve with rice and vegetables

Makes 6-8 servings

Trinidad Stew Beef with Herbed Dumplings

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Passionate foodie, founder of Trinigourmet and Caribbean Lifestyle Maven. Author of "Glam By Request: 30+ Easy Caribbean Recipes"

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  • boo

    oooh, i have never seen the browning the sugar and using that to brown the meat. i am going to try that when we have some stewing meat!

    what herbs do you use?

    xoxoxox

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      oh yes :) it’s really good. it’s a popular starting procedure for meat dishes here… you will see it repeatedly … check out my Coconut Pelau if you haven’t already :)

      www.trinigourmet.com/index.php/coconut-chicken-pelau-quick/

      For herbs I used an italian seasoning mix… if i didn’t have that on hand I would have used some thyme and oregano most likely, and if i didn’t havethat on hand I’d have used parsley and/or cilantro and/or chives :D Whatever is green and on hand :lol:

      • boo

        thank you, that helps lots! and fresh herbs is okay if i change the amounts the normal way?

        i will be trying the pamela’s gluten free pancake mix for the dumplings when i make them, cause that has leavening in it. and it is yummy :)

        i need to plant a sweet bay tree! we had one in calif but we dont here. i will ahve to see if they do okay here, but i think it would.

        • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

          yes the herbs will be fine if you use the appropriate substitution :) 1 tbsp is it or 2? :D I always pick my bay leaves fresh from our tree. I took a lovely picture of it and will share it in an upcoming entry :)

  • boo

    oooh, i have never seen the browning the sugar and using that to brown the meat. i am going to try that when we have some stewing meat!

    what herbs do you use?

    xoxoxox

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      oh yes :) it’s really good. it’s a popular starting procedure for meat dishes here… you will see it repeatedly … check out my Coconut Pelau if you haven’t already :)

      www.trinigourmet.com/index.php/coconut-chicken-pelau-quick/

      For herbs I used an italian seasoning mix… if i didn’t have that on hand I would have used some thyme and oregano most likely, and if i didn’t havethat on hand I’d have used parsley and/or cilantro and/or chives :D Whatever is green and on hand :lol:

      • boo

        thank you, that helps lots! and fresh herbs is okay if i change the amounts the normal way?

        i will be trying the pamela’s gluten free pancake mix for the dumplings when i make them, cause that has leavening in it. and it is yummy :)

        i need to plant a sweet bay tree! we had one in calif but we dont here. i will ahve to see if they do okay here, but i think it would.

        • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

          yes the herbs will be fine if you use the appropriate substitution :) 1 tbsp is it or 2? :D I always pick my bay leaves fresh from our tree. I took a lovely picture of it and will share it in an upcoming entry :)

  • http://www.aidanbrooks.blogspot.com Trig

    Now that’s why I’ve ordered the book!

    Sorry I’ve not got round to the tag yet Sarina – I’ll do it soon, I promise. Been very busy lately.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D !!
      I really hope you will like it :) I think you will :)

      Yay on the tag :) Thought you were dissing me :D busy as good! we like busy :)

  • http://www.aidanbrooks.blogspot.com Trig

    Now that’s why I’ve ordered the book!

    Sorry I’ve not got round to the tag yet Sarina – I’ll do it soon, I promise. Been very busy lately.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D !!
      I really hope you will like it :) I think you will :)

      Yay on the tag :) Thought you were dissing me :D busy as good! we like busy :)

  • http://chennette.wordpress.com Chennette

    Although I don’t eat much beef, I think stewing is an excellent flavour for it1 Looks good. You put beer in and didn’t feel the need to add some veggies? Tsk tsk…(ok, I see you added them on the side;))

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      sssh doh let lilandra see :)

  • http://chennette.wordpress.com Chennette

    Although I don’t eat much beef, I think stewing is an excellent flavour for it1 Looks good. You put beer in and didn’t feel the need to add some veggies? Tsk tsk…(ok, I see you added them on the side;))

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      sssh doh let lilandra see :)

  • http://kitchenmusings.typepad.com veron

    Never used beer and soy sauce in a recipe before. The sugar and worcestershire addition can almost make me imagine how the beef taste like…scrumptious!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      it’s a manic combination isn’t it? LOL :D welcome to Trinidad! :lol:

      • Marsha

        Nikki I never tried beer in stew before. Do you actualy taste the undertones in the stew? OR is it an obvious beer flavor…does it matter what type of beer? What about guinness?

        • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

          ooo i think guinness would rock actually hmmmm :D or a MALTA :lol:
          I’m sure I taste the undertones.. but by the end of the almost 2 hours is hard to single out any one flavour, y’know? It’s definitely not an obvious flavour :)

  • http://kitchenmusings.typepad.com veron

    Never used beer and soy sauce in a recipe before. The sugar and worcestershire addition can almost make me imagine how the beef taste like…scrumptious!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      it’s a manic combination isn’t it? LOL :D welcome to Trinidad! :lol:

      • Marsha

        Nikki I never tried beer in stew before. Do you actualy taste the undertones in the stew? OR is it an obvious beer flavor…does it matter what type of beer? What about guinness?

        • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

          ooo i think guinness would rock actually hmmmm :D or a MALTA :lol:
          I’m sure I taste the undertones.. but by the end of the almost 2 hours is hard to single out any one flavour, y’know? It’s definitely not an obvious flavour :)

  • http://soulfusionkitchen.blogspot.com Sylvie

    I’ll have to use that browning of meat with the sugar and oil technique. Question, you say you burn the sugar and oil til dark brown- Is it really burned or is it more a carmelizing process?

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      hmm good question.. it’s deeper than a caramel usually is.. but not burnt black… it’s basically a caramelization.. but taken further than if you were making like a dulche leche or a butterscotch :)

  • http://soulfusionkitchen.blogspot.com Sylvie

    I’ll have to use that browning of meat with the sugar and oil technique. Question, you say you burn the sugar and oil til dark brown- Is it really burned or is it more a carmelizing process?

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      hmm good question.. it’s deeper than a caramel usually is.. but not burnt black… it’s basically a caramelization.. but taken further than if you were making like a dulche leche or a butterscotch :)

  • Marsha

    Nikki I haven’t seen such huge cubes of beef in a long time. They don’t seem to do it like that here!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      but won’t it fall apart :( i’s cut some of them in half though :D

      • Marsha

        I don’t know why they don’t cut it big. I think they just cut for grilling or stir fry here or baking.
        You have to ask here if you want it cut like that.
        Maybe that is why I haven’t bought beef in a while! HMMMMM :)

  • Marsha

    Nikki I haven’t seen such huge cubes of beef in a long time. They don’t seem to do it like that here!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      but won’t it fall apart :( i’s cut some of them in half though :D

      • Marsha

        I don’t know why they don’t cut it big. I think they just cut for grilling or stir fry here or baking.
        You have to ask here if you want it cut like that.
        Maybe that is why I haven’t bought beef in a while! HMMMMM :)

  • Marsha

    Oh Yeh Nikki…I realized for the stewing that you have to tell people who are not familiar with the process NOT to burn the sugar because they will! Believe me They will Burn it! :)
    Just let it get really dark brown…

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      repeat this to Sylvie in the comments above :) Feel free to answer any questions that you see posted as well, the answers don’t just have to come from me :D It’s a good point that you mentioned that, it never occurred to me until she had asked :D lol

      I will edit the post to reflect that too ;)

      • Marsha

        Alright. I just didn’t feel comfortable doing that because is your page and everything but ok :)

        • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

          nah dread :D storm de joint :D

  • Marsha

    Oh Yeh Nikki…I realized for the stewing that you have to tell people who are not familiar with the process NOT to burn the sugar because they will! Believe me They will Burn it! :)
    Just let it get really dark brown…

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      repeat this to Sylvie in the comments above :) Feel free to answer any questions that you see posted as well, the answers don’t just have to come from me :D It’s a good point that you mentioned that, it never occurred to me until she had asked :D lol

      I will edit the post to reflect that too ;)

      • Marsha

        Alright. I just didn’t feel comfortable doing that because is your page and everything but ok :)

        • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

          nah dread :D storm de joint :D

  • http://is-that-my-bureka.blogspot.com/ burekaboy

    whoa sarina! that looks GREAT. never heard of browning the meat that way either.

    those are HUGE chunks of beef with fat. wish i could get it that way here (though i’m sure i could if i bought it at the buchers instead of the supermarket). ours here are small and usually without much fat on them, at all.

    too bad i can’t use the worcestershire though (kashrut) :((

    i will try this and get back to you. i really like the idea of using coconut milk for the dumplings. i’m sure that dish disappeared fast!!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      we have some leftovers, we eating them tomorrow :)

      today mom made my Festive Chicken Fried Rice :D www.trinigourmet.com/index.php/festive-chicken-fried-rice/

      some worcestershire sauce is kosher :(

      www.star-k.org/cons-faqs-status.htm#worcestershire

      including Angostura’s :D

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worcestershire_sauce#Vegetarian_substitutions

      marsha said the chunks of beef in the US are smaller too! meuh! :cry:
      I use coconut milk in most things when the recipe calls for milk in a meat dish… no one ever misses it :D

      • http://is-that-my-bureka.blogspot.com/ burekaboy

        thanks for the info … unless i go to places in my ‘hood the kosher stuff is not as prevalent as it is in the states. many things that don’t have hechshers here, do in the states. bigger population and more companies willing to pay for the certification, i guess. didn’t know about the kosher worcestershire.

        you should see the size of the stewing beef here, it’s pretty pathetic. only 2″ x 1″ pieces, usually. you got CHUNKS o’ beef! LOL. the fat makes a huge difference too in the final product.

        won’t say no to fried rice :)

        • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

          it’s a good thing angostura’s is local for me :(

  • http://is-that-my-bureka.blogspot.com/ burekaboy

    whoa sarina! that looks GREAT. never heard of browning the meat that way either.

    those are HUGE chunks of beef with fat. wish i could get it that way here (though i’m sure i could if i bought it at the buchers instead of the supermarket). ours here are small and usually without much fat on them, at all.

    too bad i can’t use the worcestershire though (kashrut) :((

    i will try this and get back to you. i really like the idea of using coconut milk for the dumplings. i’m sure that dish disappeared fast!!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      we have some leftovers, we eating them tomorrow :)

      today mom made my Festive Chicken Fried Rice :D www.trinigourmet.com/index.php/festive-chicken-fried-rice/

      some worcestershire sauce is kosher :(

      www.star-k.org/cons-faqs-status.htm#worcestershire

      including Angostura’s :D

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worcestershire_sauce#Vegetarian_substitutions

      marsha said the chunks of beef in the US are smaller too! meuh! :cry:
      I use coconut milk in most things when the recipe calls for milk in a meat dish… no one ever misses it :D

      • http://is-that-my-bureka.blogspot.com/ burekaboy

        thanks for the info … unless i go to places in my ‘hood the kosher stuff is not as prevalent as it is in the states. many things that don’t have hechshers here, do in the states. bigger population and more companies willing to pay for the certification, i guess. didn’t know about the kosher worcestershire.

        you should see the size of the stewing beef here, it’s pretty pathetic. only 2″ x 1″ pieces, usually. you got CHUNKS o’ beef! LOL. the fat makes a huge difference too in the final product.

        won’t say no to fried rice :)

        • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

          it’s a good thing angostura’s is local for me :(

  • Pingback: Anonymous

  • http://bunnyfoodfoo.blogspot.com/ BuddingCook

    this look soooo good :) i want to try it. :D

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      oooo if you ever do, let me know how it turns out :D

  • http://bunnyfoodfoo.blogspot.com/ BuddingCook

    this look soooo good :) i want to try it. :D

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      oooo if you ever do, let me know how it turns out :D

  • http://www.meltingwok.com MeltingWok

    sarina, that last picture got me totally mesmerized, one order of Sarina’s house special beef stew w/ a bottle of fine beer on the side plzzzz ? *grins* Cheers !:)

  • http://www.meltingwok.com MeltingWok

    sarina, that last picture got me totally mesmerized, one order of Sarina’s house special beef stew w/ a bottle of fine beer on the side plzzzz ? *grins* Cheers !:)

  • cherrylime

    I’m going to make this this weekend. We got almost 18″of snow
    and we’re having a sledding party I was looking for something
    to serve..this sounds perfect!

    Can I ask.. how do you make the fried onions you talked about?

    Could you suggest a few other possibilities for sides? vegetables or? also what are your favorite hot sauce recipes?
    I made one once that might have been from Trinidad (not sure?)
    It was habaneros and pineapple and maybe horseradish?Does thatsound familiar?I lost the recipe.I would love to hear your favorites.I’m definitely making yourstewthough and I’ll let you know how it goes! By the way I just bought a big potroast that I plan to cube myself. Looks like at least 2″cubes? Oh and I think fresh herbs for thedumplings since it’s kind of a party..maybe basil.parsley,thyme?

  • cherrylime

    I’m going to make this this weekend. We got almost 18″of snow
    and we’re having a sledding party I was looking for something
    to serve..this sounds perfect!

    Can I ask.. how do you make the fried onions you talked about?

    Could you suggest a few other possibilities for sides? vegetables or? also what are your favorite hot sauce recipes?
    I made one once that might have been from Trinidad (not sure?)
    It was habaneros and pineapple and maybe horseradish?Does thatsound familiar?I lost the recipe.I would love to hear your favorites.I’m definitely making yourstewthough and I’ll let you know how it goes! By the way I just bought a big potroast that I plan to cube myself. Looks like at least 2″cubes? Oh and I think fresh herbs for thedumplings since it’s kind of a party..maybe basil.parsley,thyme?

  • cherrylime

    hope I don’t post twice for some reason it’s not working..I’m making this on sunday. Can you tell me how to make the curried
    fried onions you talked about? Do you have other suggestions for sides? Any Trini recipes that qualify as “salads” a slaw
    type thing maybe? Going to make a chutney and maybe scotch bonnet sauce to serve along side too. What type of rice? Maybe Basmati? This looks amazing.By the way since it’s kind of for company I was thinking fresh herbs maybe basil,thyme,chives? I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  • cherrylime

    hope I don’t post twice for some reason it’s not working..I’m making this on sunday. Can you tell me how to make the curried
    fried onions you talked about? Do you have other suggestions for sides? Any Trini recipes that qualify as “salads” a slaw
    type thing maybe? Going to make a chutney and maybe scotch bonnet sauce to serve along side too. What type of rice? Maybe Basmati? This looks amazing.By the way since it’s kind of for company I was thinking fresh herbs maybe basil,thyme,chives? I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  • http://www.rouxbe.com dawn

    Love the look of that stew. Even though it is beautiful outside and we are having a barbecue, I wish I was having that.

    Can’t wait for the chicken paella!

  • http://www.rouxbe.com dawn

    Love the look of that stew. Even though it is beautiful outside and we are having a barbecue, I wish I was having that.

    Can’t wait for the chicken paella!

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Dawn – aww thanks :) Take pics of the BBQ i could do with some right now :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Dawn – aww thanks :) Take pics of the BBQ i could do with some right now :)

  • mia

    Love your recipes. But do you have a recipe for shanno benny chutney?
    I have been searching all over but can’t find anything close.

    Thank you,
    mia

  • mia

    Love your recipes. But do you have a recipe for shanno benny chutney?
    I have been searching all over but can’t find anything close.

    Thank you,
    mia

  • Merlin

    Hi,

    while reading I got really hungry! I have one question: Your stew does not seem to be spicy is it? How would you make it a spicy stew or do you think it would not fit the dish?

    Thanks and greetings from Berlin, Germany

  • Merlin

    Hi,

    while reading I got really hungry! I have one question: Your stew does not seem to be spicy is it? How would you make it a spicy stew or do you think it would not fit the dish?

    Thanks and greetings from Berlin, Germany

  • Troy

    Hi

    I had some beef chuck seasoned and i didn’t know what to do with them so i got on the net and i came across this recipe, so i jumped right on it.

    I’m at the simmer until meat is tender step.
    So far things are looking and tasting good.

    I made mine a little spicy by cutting a hot pepper into two. When it got a little spicy I took them out.

  • Troy

    Hi

    I had some beef chuck seasoned and i didn’t know what to do with them so i got on the net and i came across this recipe, so i jumped right on it.

    I’m at the simmer until meat is tender step.
    So far things are looking and tasting good.

    I made mine a little spicy by cutting a hot pepper into two. When it got a little spicy I took them out.

  • Rima

    I love this recipe and have made it several times with vita malt instead of beer it is soooo good :) I have a question though I was in the flood in GA in Septemeber and we have yet to get back our appliances so I have no oven… Is there a way I can make this in a crock pot since that’s about all I have??? Thanks in advance!!!

  • Rima

    I love this recipe and have made it several times with vita malt instead of beer it is soooo good :) I have a question though I was in the flood in GA in Septemeber and we have yet to get back our appliances so I have no oven… Is there a way I can make this in a crock pot since that’s about all I have??? Thanks in advance!!!

  • Jaz Borden

    This was very tasty with flavour popping out making my taste buds take notice! My brain did a cerebral, culinary dance and I smiled that smile you get when you feel like you've discovered paradise :-)