Serving
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Cheddar Cheese Dumplings
England - West Country
   
Makes
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
30  
**
35 min  
Yes
These are a traditional dumpling that accompanies stews in the West Country of England. These would have been used for centuries before potatoes became available in England. Note that these are not "lean cuisine".



4
2
1
1/3
8
ar
ar
oz
oz
t
t
oz
Suet (1)
Cheddar Cheese (2)
Salt
Pepper
Flour, SR (3)
Water (4)
Flour
  1. Chop SUET as fine as you can get it.
  2. Grate CHEESE fine.
  3. Run Salt and Pepper to powder in your spice grinder they mix well with the flour.
  4. Work all Dry Items together with the Flour (8 oz = 1-1/2 cup) until evenly distributed. Getting this even and free of lumps is hard to do by hand, so I use a food processor with the sharp metal blade.
  5. Slowly mix in Water (or other watery liquid - about 1/4 cup) to make a moderately stiff dough.
  6. Set out a plate with Flour as needed. With flour powdered hands Form the Dough into balls between 3/4 and 1 inch diameter. Roll them in the Flour to coat lightly. At this point they can be refrigerated until needed.
  7. Oil the steamer basket to reduce sticking and steam the dumplings for about 12 minutes. Give each one space as they will swell considerably.

    Many English recipes have you place the dumplings carefully on top of the finished stew or potage being made in the oven, leaving the pot uncovered, then removing them when done (about 20 minutes). I find it a lot safer and easier to just steam them in a steamer, and they can be made ahead that way. Some recipes say you can boil them, but that doesn't work at all well.
NOTES:
  1. Suet:   An ingredient much used in England, but not so much here. It is fresh hard beef fat from around the kidneys. In a pinch, use whatever firm white beef fat you can get. For details see our Suet / Tallow page.
  2. Cheddar Cheese:   Use a real, properly aged cheddar. The industrial grades from the big brand names don't melt right.
  3. Flour, Self Rising:   This four is much used in England. It's less used here, but most supermarkets have it. You can make your own per our recipe Self Rising Flour.
  4. Water:   Milk and cold beef stock are also used.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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