Time to cook: 3 hours 
Serves: 10 
Suitable for A-level students 
 
Ingredients 
1kg (2lb3oz) beef braising steak 
2 large onions 
4 medium beetroots 
1 celery stalk 
3x Parsley stalks 
3x Thyme sprigs 
1 Bay leaf 
1 bunch fresh watercress 
3x 15ml (3tbsp) flour 
3x 15ml spoon (3tbsp) plain flour 
Black pepper 
3x 15ml (3tbsp) sunflower oil 
10 juniper berries 
2 beef stock cubes 
900ml (1 ½ pt) hot water 
200g (8oz) self-raising flour 
100g (4oz) suet 
75ml (5tbsp) cold water 
 
Equipment  
Weighing scales, Knife, chopping board, large mixing bowl, measuring spoons, large heat and oven proof casserole dish and oven gloves.
 
Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180-190°C or Gas mark 4-5. 
2. Cut the braising steak into large cubes.
3. Using a clean knife and chopping board prepare the remaining ingredients:
  • peel and slice the onion
  • peel and cut the beetroot into large chunks
  • cut the celery stalk in half and tie the parsley stalks, thyme sprigs and bay leaf inside the two halves of celery with kitchen string to create a bouquet garni
  • finely chop the watercress.
4. Place the plain flour in a large mixing bowl and season with black pepper.
5. Add the beef cubes to the flour and coat.
6. Heat the oil in a large oven proof casserole dish and brown the beef and onions, in batches, for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. Make up the stock.
8. Add the beetroot, juniper berries, bouquet garni, stock. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat and cover.
9. Cook the casserole for 1 ½ - 2 hours or until the beef is tender. 
10. Prepare the water cress dumplings:
  • mix together the flour, suet and watercress in a large mixing bowl
  • add enough water to form a smooth dough
  • using lightly floured hands divide the mixture in to 8 portions
  • shape each portion into a ball.
11. Twenty minutes before the end of cooking time remove the casserole from the oven, add the dumplings and return to the oven uncovered. 
 
Top tips
  • Remove the bourquet garni before serving. 
  • This dish can be served with honey-glazed carrots and new potatoes.
 
Did you know? 
  • A bouquet garni is a collection of herbs, tied together with kitchen string or placed inside a muslin cloth. It is used in soup, stock and stews to enhance the flavour, but removed before dishes are served. In traditional recipes, the herbs were tied together with a leak leaf or stalk of celery. 
 
Nutrition information per100g/serving: Energy 639/1526kJ, protein 10.7/25.4g, carbohydrate 11.2/26.8g, carbohydrate of which sugars 2.1/5.0g, fat 7.7/18.3g, saturated fat 3.3/7.9g, dietary fibre 0.86/2.1g, salt 0.38/0.9g, iron 1.0/2.48mg