Any seasonal root vegetables can be used for this hearty stew. Serve with a bright vegetable to add colour to the plate. This is a recipe from Louise Walker’s Four Seasons cookbook.
25g (1 oz) dripping or lard
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
700g (1½ lb) potatoes, diced
225g (8 oz) turnips, diced
4 sticks of celery, chopped
8 pork chops
25g (1 oz) seasoned flour
600ml (1 pint) chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
225g (8 oz) plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
115g (4 oz) shredded suet
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Water to mix
1. Melt the dripping in a frying pan and fry the onions, potatoes, turnips and celery until softening. Drain and transfer to a flameproof casserole dish.
2. Dip the chops in the seasoned flour and brown in the hot frying pan. Lay the chops on the top of the vegetables. Add the stock to the pan and bring to the boil and pour over the meat. Add the bay leaf. Cover the casserole and bring to the boil.
3. Transfer to the simmering oven for 1-1 ½ hours. Meanwhile, make the suet dumplings. Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix with enough water to make a soft, but manageable, dough and then form into 8 dumplings. Remove the casserole from the oven and place the dumplings on top of the gravy. Replace the lid and put the casserole on the shelf on the floor of the roasting oven for 20-30 minutes, until the dumplings have risen.
Fry off the vegetables and chops on the hotplate. Bring the casserole contents to the boil on the hotplate then transfer to the oven at 150ºC (300ºF), fan oven 130ºC, Gas Mark 2 for about 1½ hours. Turn the oven up to 200ºC (400ºF), fan oven 180ºC, Gas Mark 6. Place the dumplings on top of the casserole contents, replace the lid and return to the oven for 20-30 minutes, until the dumplings have risen.