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Exeter Stew

Pot Meals

Stew of cubed beef with onions and vinegar accompanied by herb suet dumplings.

Widely known from many local reports, but first known in print in the USA in Housekeepers and Home-Makers' by Sallie Joy White, published in Boston in 1888; "And now, what to do with the tough bits left from the roast or the steak. Prepared in the following way, you will have a most nutritive and palatable dish. Cut them into inch pieces. Cut the bits of fat very fine, and fry them in a saucepan; when they are well browned and crisped, add a tablespoonful of chopped onion; into this seasoned fat, while it is hot and bubbling, stir a table- spoonful of flour, mix it well with the fat, and when it is brown, - taking care not to bum it, - add a cupful of boiling water, a tablespoonful of vinegar, as much cayenne-pepper as you can take on the point of a penknife, salt to taste, and about a quarter of a saltspoonful of pepper (take care not to use a teaspoon in this measure). This makes enough sauce for a large cup of the meat dice. Put the meat into this sauce, and simmer slowly, but do not boil, for two hours. You will find this a most delicious dish, and you may call it an " Exeter stew." "

Original Receipt

Exeter Stew With Savoury Doughboys:
2 lb stewing beef
2 medium onions, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 small turnip, peeled and diced
1/2 swede, peeled and diced
2 pt beef stock
2 oz plain flour
2 oz lard for frying
5 oz plain flour
4 oz suet
1/2 tsp baking powder
Freshly chopped herbs (thyme and parsley)
Salt and pepper
Cold water to mix

Prepare the meat by removing any fat and cutting into cubes. Melt the fat and fry the meat until brown. Add the vegetables and fry for a further few minutes. Stir in the flour and then add the stock, season and simmer in a covered pan for 1 to 1.5 hours.
Prepare the doughboys by mixing together the flour, suet, baking powder and seasoning. Stir in the herbs and add sufficient water to make a soft dough. Shape into 8 small balls and add to the stew, they will swell whilst cooking. Continue cooking for a further 25 minutes or until the meat is tender.

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