WELCOME to latest recipe with 'Guest in the Kitchen'.

Richard Guest, head chef at Augustus Restaurant in Taunton, this week tells you how to embrace the cold snap and what is one of the best comfort dishes to make.

IT'S definitely parky, there’s no doubting that.

I’d go as far as saying, I’d be a little disappointed if it wasn’t, I’m no sadist but I do like the cold and every season has its pros and cons.

One of the pros of a cold snap, for me is slow cooking.

Stews, casseroles and Braises, I love making them, eating them and serving them.

One of my favourite cuts for slow cooking is the short rib.

It has a nice amount of fat and collagen and the rib bones help with enriching the stock.

I get ours from Riverside Butchers, this isn’t the BBC so I’m sure it’s ok to champion our suppliers!!

This recipe for stew and dumplings, might be a sucking eggs recipe to some people but it’s one I love to cook and eat.


- 1 kg of Short ribs

- 2 onions and 4 cloves of garlic pealed and chopped.

- 1 bay leaf.

- 1 Large carrot, pealed and diced.

- 1/3 of a swede, peeled and diced.

- 1 medium turnip, peeled and diced.

- 1 stick of celery, peeled and diced.(optional, don’t buy a whole hand if you won’t use the rest)

- 1 Little of beef stock or water and stock cubes. Don’t use a thickening gravy powder, as it will become over thick and the dumplings can’t soak up any of the stock and get there armadillo thing going on.

- 200 g self raising flour

- 100 grams beef suet.

- Cold water.

- Salt and white pepper.

How to make the stew and dumplings:

GIVE the meat a decent seasoning with salt and fresh ground pepper, then in a sturdy pan on a medium heat; without oil, as the beef fat will render. brown off the meat, don’t be shy colour it well all over.

When good and browned off, transfer the meat with tongues into your casserole dish, using kitchen role dab the fat out of the pan, add the onions and garlic to the pan and swill out with your stock over a low heat so as not to loose that meaty flavour.

Pour the stock and onions over the meat with the bay leaf.

Cover with a lid and simmer on a low heat for an hour, then add the veg, cover again and continue to cook for another hour.

Mean while toss together the flour and suet with a pinch of salt and white pepper, add just enough cold water to bind them together, being careful not to over mix and break up the suet.

Roll them into golf ball sized dumplings and place on top of the stew, cover, then in the oven at 180 for 20 minutes, then lid off until the dumplings are crisp.

I like stew with mash and brassicas this time of year but if your comfort in the cold is chips and beans that’s fine-your house your rules.