It’s typical summer weather here
warm, sunny cold, dull and damp. Can’t say I’m feeling like salads or light summery dishes at the moment. What I’m wanting is something comforting and warming, some good old traditional fare. How about mince and dumplings? That would definitely hit the spot.
Surely not when following Slimming World!
Slimming World mince and dumplings, can it be done?
It got me thinking. Obstacle number 1, gravy. The gravy needs to be thickened, brown and tasty. Well tasty’s no problem the mince itself and a stock cube will take care of that one. But thickened and brown? I turned to good old Bisto powder. Not the granules mind you, it has to be the old fashioned powder. This is only 1/2 a syn per level teaspoon, and not only that, it’s what my mam always used in mince and dumplings. Obstacle number 2, the dumplings. Generally made with 50% suet to flour, this could prove tricky. Suet is 10 syns for 25g!!!! I began thinking though. That 50% suet to flour ratio isn’t set in stone, in fact, my mam never used that much suet (she disliked fatty foods). She used to use less than half the recommended amount of suet and her mince and dumplings (well actually, puddings in the corner, but we’ll come to that later) were legendary.
Some fiddling around with ideas and calculators later, I came up with the recipe I used. Now it isn’t going to be syn free, but you can’t expect real mince and dumplings to be syn free can you? And this is REAL mince and dumplings, no faffing about with instant potato to make a pretend dumpling here! So, what’s the damage going to be? Well it is 7.5 syns for 1 dumpling and 1/4 of the mince and gravy, but serve it with syn free mash and piles of speed veggies and you really will feel contentedly stuffed, 7.5 syns well spent.
Now if you’re a little tired of my rambling scroll on down to the recipe, but as an interesting little aside, as a child, living in Sunderland, we always called this dish “corner puddings.” In fact, if I tell hubby we’re having mince and dumplings for tea he’ll usually reply with “Mmm corner puddings.” Or words to that effect. I wrote a post about corner puddings on my old blog and it elicited some very interesting comments, the consensus being that it is only in Sunderland that the name corner puddings is used! After that
interesting little aside – the recipe.
- 500g lean minced beef (5% fat or less)
- 1 onion finely chopped (optional)
- 1 beef stock cube
- 8 level teaspoons of Bisto powder
- 600ml cold water
- 100g self raising flour
- 25g beef suet
- Place the mince and onion in a casserole dish and break up the mince with a fork.
- Crumble the stock cube and sprinkle it over the mince.
- Sprinkle the Bisto powder over the mince.
- Add 600ml cold water (it must be cold or the gravy powder will go lumpy) and stir well.
- Place in a hot oven for 1 hour - remove after 20 minutes or so and give it a good stir.
- Meanwhile mix together the self raising flour and suet and add just enough water to make a softish dough. (It should feel a little softer than a pastry dough but should hold together and not feel sloppy.)
- After around an hour remove the mince from the oven and divide the dough into four portions placing them on top of the mince.
- Immediately return to the oven and cook for a further 20 minutes until the dumplings are risen and crisp and golden on the top.
- Serve with syn free mash and plenty of speed vegetables.