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Nothing says autumn like a stew-soaked dumpling. These herby dumplings are light and fragrant to complement the richness of the mushroom stew. It’s a filling comfort meal, and it’s accidentally vegan.
Put the dried mushrooms in a large jug and cover with 600ml of boiling water. Leave for at least 15 minutes, but up to an hour.
Slice the large mushrooms. I like to leave them quite chunky – 4-5mm thick. Place a large frying pan over a high heat. Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil and then add half of the mushrooms. Fry hard until the mushrooms give out all their juices and begin to caramalise. Scoop the mushrooms out of the pan and into a bowl.
Repeat with the rest of the olive oil and the other half of the mushrooms. As the second batch begins to reduce, add the whole button mushrooms. Drain the dried mushrooms (keep the liquid for later) and add them to the pan too. Cook for around 5-8 minutes until all the mushrooms are reduced and caramalising then return the first batch of mushrooms to the pan.
Turn the heat down, add the garlic, thyme and a pinch of salt and sweat for 3 minutes.
Add the red wine and the liquid from the dried mushrooms. Bring to a simmer for 25 minutes until the juice has reduced and is glossy.
Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl together with a generous pinch of salt. Gradually add cold water to form a sticky dough - you will need roughly 100ml. Flour your hands and divide the dough into 12 equal balls.
For dumplings with a crispy top, preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C fan / gas mark 6. Spoon the stew into an ovenproof dish, sit the dumplings on top of the stew then bake in the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
For soft dumplings, cook the stew for 10 minutes longer so it reduces a little more. Place the dumplings on top of the stew in the frying pan. Pop a lid on the pan and simmer for 20 minutes on the hob until the dumplings are puffed up and cooked through.