Shredded Beef and Dumplings
To me, this is comfort food at its best. Slow braised meat that just falls apart at the touch, served with its own gravy over dumplings- the description alone is comforting. Chuck Roast is a cheap cut of meat that is usually sold in a net and requires a hefty amount of cooking time to make it tender but pays off big time in the flavor department. I just discovered a new company aptly called "Fleish" that sells their meat with actual names on it and I did a jig in the store because I don't know about you, but the number system does nothing for me except give me a migraine. Who knew seeing simple words like chuck roast, london broil and french roast could thrill me so much (yes, I need to get out more often.) What these dumplings are really called are Knuckelach but since I ran that name by most people only to be greeted by blank stares and awkward chuckles I settled for the more generic name. I grew up with Knuckelach which are basically a version of the German Spaetzle, a simple dough cooked in boiling water that when served with gravy makes you want to sing. Spaetzle is typically made by pushing the dough through small holes to make small, tender dumplings but in my family we like them big and doughy so we just lop the dough into the water. You can choose to make them as thin or thick as you want but personally I think the bigger ones hold up better to the gravy.
For the meat:
1 Chuck Roast (3-4 lbs) (you can also use brisket or any other meat that needs to be slow braised)
1 can of beer
3 onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbl brown sugar
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika
Lay half of the onions on the bottom of a roasting pan Place meat on top and season with salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and brown sugar. Top with the rest of the onions and pour the beer over. Cover tightly and cook at 350 for 3-4 hours or until very tender. Using two forks pull the meat apart, it should come apart easily. Serve it over the dumplings and pour the gravy on top.
For the Dumplings:
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
2 Tbl oil
Mix flour, eggs and salt in a bowl. Add the water until it is well combined. Bring a pot of water to boil with the oil and some salt. Drop the dough by the teaspoonful into the water and let it cook in the boiling water. They are ready when they float to the top.