Slow cooked steak in red wine with gremolata dumplings

My friend Johanna alerted me to this recipe that she first heard about on Radio NZ. She has made it several times over the last year and assures me that it’s a great dish.

Mark Gregory, DINEAID founder and renowned chef, shared this recipe with the Radio NZ audience. It relies on long slow cooking of cheap cuts of meat, in this case, chuck steak or blade. This would work well with cross-cut steak as well. There’s no doubt that with this type of meat if you take the time to cook it long and lovingly it will return great tasting meat that will melt in your mouth.

As for the gremolata I have often seen this on menus in restaurants and wondered what it was. According to Wikipedia it’s a chopped herb condiment typically made of garlic, parsley, and lemon zest. In the case of this recipe, this is what flavours the dumpling. Sounds delicious.


  • 4 x 300 – 400g  beef blade or chuck steaks
  • plain flour to dust steaks
  • ¼ cup  olive oil – or use other if not available
  • 2 medium onions – finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 300ml  red wine
  • 1 cup  tinned chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • pinch dried chilli
  • 3 sprigs rosemary – from the garden if you have it
  • 6 pieces anchovy – optional

Gremolata dumplings

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon  salt
  • 1 clove garlic – crushed
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • ½ cup parsley – chopped
  • 1 cup grated butter – place in freezer for 1 hour first before grating
  • ¾+ cup  milk


First choose a casserole dish large enough to hold the steaks.

Heat a frying pan, add three tablespoons of olive oil then sweat the onions and garlic for 5 minutes until soft and sweet. Scrape all into the casserole saucepan.

Re-heat frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lightly dust steaks with flour then pan fry until golden – you may have to do this in batches depending upon size of fry pan. Place the coloured steaks on top of the onions.

Add red wine to the frying pan and reduce down for several minutes until it’s nearly all evaporated, add the tomatoes, stock and chili, rosemary and anchovies if using. Stir well before scraping everything over the steaks. Cover with a lid and place in oven at 325F/160°C for one-and-a-half hours.

After 1 hour make the gremolata dumplings – sift flour into a large mixing bowl, gently mix in all other ingredients except milk. Now mix in sufficient milk to make a moist dough (similar to scones).

With wet hands, roll dumpling dough into golf ball-sized pieces and place on floured bench top. Remove steaks from oven, take off the lid and place gremolata dumplings evenly around the surface, be sure to leave one inch between each – if there’s too much dumpling mix do not use the extra.

Recover steaks with the lid and place back into the oven a further 20 minutes to cook the dumplings.

Serve at the table straight from the saucepan – the smell alone makes you hungry.

Anchovies – If you don’t like anchovies don’t worry, they simply enrich the flavour of the sauce.

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