The ultimate comfort food, there's nothing like a hearty stew topped with fluffy dumplings to warm you up on a cold winter's evening. Dumplings are traditionally made with a mixture of flour and suet, but can be flavoured with a huge range of herbs, spices and other additions to suit the dish.
Suet is used as the fat of choice for dumplings, as it traps air as it melts and therefore creates the perfect light and fluffy texture. Beef suet is most commonly used, but vegetarian versions are also readily available.
Before adding the water to the flour and suet, different flavourings could be added to the mixture. Try adding chopped herbs such as rosemary or thyme, some chilli flakes or mustard powder for a little heat, or some grated cheese.
The dumplings can also be baked in the oven for 10 minutes before adding to the stew, which will give a crispy exterior to the dumplings.