(The original recipe was given to Bilbo Baggins by Bombur son of Bomfur. This version has been modified slightly for Shire tastes and ingredients.)
4-6 cloves garlic – halved
1 brown onion – sliced
2 carrots – roughly chopped
2 potatoes – diced
400g mushrooms – sliced
½ cauliflower – chopped
400-500g beef – diced
3 sticks celery – roughly chopped
Small bunch asparagus – sliced in short lengths
A quantity of homemade beef stock – enough to fill one medium casserole dish
3 bay leaves, small bunch sage, 2 sprigs rosemary
140g wholemeal plain flour
Small bunch parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons baking powder
Salt and black pepper to taste
About 110g cold butter
Prepare stew ingredients and layer in slow cooker in order listed from garlic at the bottom to asparagus on top. Pour stock over all and tuck herbs in randomly.
Cook on Low setting for 4-5 hours.
About 1 hour before you want to eat, turn slow cooker up to High.
Mix together flour, baking powder, parsley and seasonings.
Chop butter finely and rub into dry mix using fingertips until mixture is crumbly. Then add small amounts of cold water until it forms a sticky dough.
Break dough into about 8 pieces and place these on top of the stew, replacing the lid swiftly.
Leave to cook for 30-40 minutes.
Just before serving, remove dumplings from stew with a slotted spoon and place in serving bowls or a separate bowl.