Updated 22nd August 2023
Gluten free dumplings used to be one of the most requested recipes when I worked on the advice line at Juvela. And then generally within the same enquiry, I’d be asked where gluten free suet could be purchased from?
Gluten free suet is a bit tricky to get hold of. However, not to worry, as I have a great tip to share with you, which will mean, you’ll no longer have to specifically source gluten free suet to make dumplings or suet puddings.
So yes, this wonderful tip was one of the many things I learnt whist working at Juvela gluten free foods. It’s so simple, but pure genius. Basically, all you need to do to substitute suet (if you are unable to get hold of gf suet) is to weigh out the quantity you require in lard or a vegetable shortening such as ‘TREX’ instead (when making a gluten free Christmas pud it’s nice to use butter), wrap it in a piece of greaseproof paper, pop it into a freezer bag, and then into the freezer for about half an hour, to chill and harden. Then, simply remove from the freezer and grate into gluten free flour .
I’ve made these gluten free dumplings twice over the last week. The first time, we enjoyed them in a tasty beef and tomato casserole and then today I tried them in a beef with red wine stew, inspired by a James Martin recipe.
The dumplings will of course be great in any stew or casserole you decide to rustle up. It’s best to add them about 25-30 minutes before the end of cooking. They do soak up a bit of liquid, so if your stew is a little thick, then thin it down with a drop of boiling water before you add the dumplings.
175g (6oz) gluten free self-raising flour (if using gluten free mix or plain/all purpose flour add 1 teaspoon of gluten free baking powder.)
75g (3oz) lard or vegetable shortening (or of course gf suet if you can get it)
Salt and *black pepper
Wrap the lard in greaseproof paper, slip into a freezer bag and chill in the freezer to harden for ½hr.
Sift the gf flour (and baking powder if using gf plain flour) into a large bowl. Add a pinch of salt and a little black pepper.
Grate the chilled lard into the flour, tossing it a bit in the flour as you go, so you coat the lard and ensure it doesn’t all clump together.
Make sure the lard is well distributed, then add enough cold water (approximately 8-10 desert-spoons) to make a firm but sticky dough. It’s best not to over handle the mixture at this point, as you will break down the lard pieces.
Remove the stew/casserole from the oven. Roughly form the dumpling mixture into about 8 balls and gently drop them into the stew. Again, best not to over handle the mixture, as you will blend in the fat. And after all, it really doesn’t matter if your dumplings look a little wonky!
Now, at this point it’s entirely up to you if you choose to cover your stew, with foil or a lid before returning to the oven. You will get a softer, paler dumpling if you cover and a more crunchy golden brown one if you leave uncovered.
Return the dish to the oven for about 25-30 minutes 200C/400F/Gas 6/180C Fan. After this time your dumplings should have puffed up and be light and fluffy.
I know lots of people like to enjoy stew and dumplings with mash, but I personally love it with little roast potatoes and some freshly cooked petit pois. And if at all possible, a punchy glass of red!
Thanks so much for checking out my step by step recipe for gluten free dumplings. I’ve also popped a demo over on my YouTube channel. Click here to check it out.
*Check this product to ensure there are no gluten containing ingredients or gluten ‘may contain’ or ‘not suitable’ warnings on the pack. If in doubt leave it out.