Mince and Dumplings Recipe

Janette Fuschi | Culinary Ginger Updated

Mince and dumplings is the perfect winter dish to warm you up, from the inside out. Minced beef is cooked with vegetables and beef stock, and topped with soft, pillowy dumplings for a complete meal in one pot. This is real British comfort food.

If you recall the mince pies I made a few weeks ago, we talked about the definition of ‘mince’ and the sweet versus savory concept. Well, this dish falls into the savory category.

This was one of my favorite meals growing up and my mum had her recipe down, and was perfect every time. I say recipe, but there wasn’t one.

Mince and Dumplings Photo

And of course, she can’t share it with me today because she never wrote anything down. She just made this (and all her other dishes) in the style of “a little of this a little of that” and “yes, that tastes good”!

Mince and Dumplings Picture

Given her method, this is the perfect dish too, for this reason, because it’s very hard to mess-up it up. Everything cooks together in the pan which leads to developing a rich, deep flavor. The dumplings add a lovely ‘crust’ that cuts through the sauciness of the dish.

Mince and Dumplings Image

Just like in many other British recipes, suet is traditionally used in the dumplings. I talked about suet in the mince pies post as well the Spotted Dick recipe, which would be the perfect dessert to follow this dish, because it is also comforting and warming.

Mince and Dumplings Pic

Like with the Spotted Dick recipe, since suet is not readily available in the U.S., I substituted shortening.

File 1 Mince and Dumplings

In doing some research, I found a little history of dumplings that I didn’t know existed. Dumplings were influenced by the Italians, and have been around since AD50, the time of the Roman invasion.

File 2 Mince and Dumplings

The Romans used to make their dumplings with lentils (which were not very popular in Britain), so the British started making them with water and flour.

They then developed them further by adding milk and some extra ingredients, and this is how the British dumpling was born.

Mince and Dumplings Recipe

    4 Servings


  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1 pound Ground Beef, 80/20
  • 8 ounces Yellow Onion, finely diced
  • 2 Celery Sticks, finely diced
  • 5 ounces Carrot, finely diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 5 ounces Red Wine
  • 14 ounces Chopped Tomatoes, canned
  • 1 1/2 cups Beef Stock
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Bay Leaf
For the Dumplings:
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/2 ounces Vegetable Shortening
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Fresh Parsley, chopped for garnish


  1. To a large sauce pan with a lid, add the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the ground beef and brown. Add the onions and cook until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the celery, carrots and garlic, cook for 1 minute stirring.
  3. Add the salt, pepper and tomato paste and stir to combine.
  4. Stir in the wine. Mix well and scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, simmer for 1 minute.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaf.
  6. Turn up the heat and bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes while you make the dumplings.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  8. To a bowl add the flour, salt and shortening. Use a fork to mash the shortening into the flour until it looks like large breadcrumbs.
  9. Slowly pour in cold water (about 1 cup) until you get a soft, spongy dough.
  10. Remove the bay leaf from the beef and vegetables.
  11. Flour your hands and form the dough into 8 balls. Place then evenly on top of the minced meat.
  12. Cover the pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for a further 30 minutes until the dumplings are browned and cooked.
  13. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.


Cooking Method:
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Related Recipes:
British Recipes, Dinner Recipes, Easy Dinner Recipes, Comfort Food Recipes, Simmered Recipes, Ground Beef Recipes, Onion Recipes, Carrot Recipes, Garlic Recipes, Tomato Recipes
Recipe Yields:
4 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Author: Janette Fuschi
Recipe Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 70 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 258
Calories 570

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g
  Saturated Fat 3g
Sodium 947mg
Total Carbohydrate 29g
  Dietary Fiber 1g
  Sugars 2g
Protein 26g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Janette Fuschi

About Janette

Janette is a British ex-pat living in Southern California. On her blog, Culinary Ginger, you'll learn all about it. On Food Fanatic, you'll see her favorite British classics, and ours too!