Preheat your oven to 160°C (325°F).
Heat the vegetable oil in a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the beef and brown it on all sides. Remove the beef from the pot and set it aside.
In the same pot, add the diced onion, carrots, celery, and minced garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir well to coat everything. Cook for an additional minute to cook out the raw flour taste.
Gradually add the beef stock, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Stir in the tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Return the beef to the pot, along with any juices that have accumulated. Give it a good stir to combine everything.
Cover the pot with a lid and transfer it to the preheated oven. Cook for about 3 hours or until the beef is tender and the flavours have melded together.
While the stew is cooking, prepare the suet dumplings. In a mixing bowl, combine the self-rising flour, shredded suet, and a pinch of salt. Gradually add cold water, a little at a time, and mix with a fork until you have a soft, sticky dough.
When the stew is ready, remove it from the oven. Take off the lid and discard the bay leaves. Increase the oven temperature to 190°C (375°F).
Using a spoon, drop spoonfulls of the dumpling mixture onto the surface of the stew. Place the pot back in the oven, uncovered, and cook for an additional 20-25 minutes until the dumplings have puffed up and are golden on top.
Serve the shin beef stew hot with the suet dumplings on top. It pairs well with mashed potatoes or crusty bread.
1kg shin beef, cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons beef dripping
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons plain flour
475 ml beef stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
For the suet dumplings:
150 grams self-rising flour
75 grams beef suet
A pinch of salt
Cold water (approximately 120 ml)