Family Cookery Classes now also on Mondays!

Due to the popularity of our family cooking sessions on Wednesdays, we have decided to extend our classes to Mondays.

Starting on 7th of November at 4 – 6pm.  Cost is only 50p per person and it is available to those who live in our area of benefit that covers most of EC1 postcode.

Don’t delay and book your space.  Booking is easy, just come to St Luke’s Community Centre and fill in one of our booking forms and give back to reception together with payment.

We look forward to seeing you then.


Our monthly recipe is for those who want delicious comfort food for family and friends alike. Our beef stew with dumplings is packed with vegetables and is full of flavour too.  Delicious herby dumplings make this stew extra yummy and the slow cooking is perfect for weekend cooking.  You can make it vegetarian by substituting the beef for soup mix.




Serves 4 – 6

A little olive oil plus a little butter

750 g Braising steak cut into 2 cm pieces.  If you are doing the vegetarian version you can substitute with 500g of soup mix (barley, yellow split lentils).  You can also use lamb pieces for this.

2 Tbsp plain flour

1 medium onion finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic finely chopped

2 stems of celery sliced

3 medium carrots, thickly sliced

2 leeks, thickly sliced

any root vegetables that you fancy, you can use swede, potatoes, parsnips.  Butternut squash is good for the vegetarian option.  For quantities aim for for enough vegetables to fit both your cupped hands.

If you have them, add mushrooms too!

Optional red wine, a small glass about 100ml

Beef, lamb or vegetable stock

A couple of bay leaves, some thyme, some soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste.


Herby dumplings:

100 g self raising flour


50 g vegetable suet

Enough water to make a dough

Herbs like sage, rosemary or thyme. Very finely chopped.

Heat the oven to 180C

In a large stock pot, heat the oil and the butter and cook the meat until brown on all sides.  Add the onion, garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, add the flour and keep cooking for a couple of minutes.  Add the rest of the vegetables. And sweat them for another couple of minutes.

Add the wine if using, stock, herbs and soy sauce.  Season well.  (if you are doing the vegetarian version add the soup mix here). Bring to the boil, cover the dish and put in the oven, cook for about 2 hours, stirring from time to time, until the meat is tender or the grains are fully cooked.  Make sure there is always enough liquid in the pot.

Make the dumplings by sifting the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, add the vegetable suet and water to make a thick dough.  Add the herbs and roll into small sized balls.

After two hours cooking, put the dumplings on top of the stew, cover, return to the oven and continue cooking for another 20 minutes or until the dumplings have cooked, they should have grown in size.  If you want golden brown dumplings then leave the pan uncovered.

Serve with mashed potato and greens, something like wilted spinach or kale.

I prefer to eat this out of a bowl!

Recipe adapted from James Martin.