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Legaspy 2: Mum

Our Mum is the number one home cook, and thanks to years of honing her Sunday dinners she is here to tell us a little bit about her beef and suet dumpling stew.

Why is this your Legaspy?

L: Why is this your legacy dish?

M:*confused look*

K: That was exactly the reaction dad had...

M: I didn't know it was my legacy dish.. I thought it was what you requested that I made for you, of my huge repertoire of catering..

L: I know, but I think that's what we associate with you - other than roast dinner - I'd say that's one of your top notch dinners

M: Mmm not dahl or.. ricotta.. with.. spinach

ALL: Oh mmm cannelloni yeah

M: that's not one of mine either?

K: well you have so many

M: well I think stew was picked by you two really - it was a journey down memory lane - I had to take the recipe book out to remember how to make it, its been such a long time since I made it

ALL: *awkwardly laugh*

K: so it's your legacy because its popular

M: well it was popular for you two, you two popularized it

L: okay, well, because of us (its your legaspy)

Who taught you how to cook?

M: Well I went to catering college

L: Did you cook before that though?

M: I did used to cook before that.. because Grandma's not a very good cook

L: So you took on the role

M: not exactly took on the role, but I was always interested in it 'cause she used to make such a bad mess of it all and quite often I used to make the dessert when we used to have Sunday lunch

K and L: *exclaim audibly*

L: Like crumble?

M: No, more complicated things than that .. she used to very kindly go and buy me all the ingredients to make all these fanciful things, and then we all ate it ... so that's probably how it started and then I decided I wanted to be a chef so i went off to catering college, so that's where I really learnt to cook

K: You have a crumb in your scarf

M: Oh... a nice bit of candied something *eats scarf crumb*

What is a dish you can't cook but wish you could?

K: That's a really good question I have to say

L: I know

M: Anything with gelatine in always scares me

L: Ohh like jelly?

M and K: *laugh*

M: Jelly I can just about cope with

L: What else has gelatine in it? Aspic?

M: No, no. You make things like mousses and you put gelatine in them to set it and that would always scare me because I didn't know ... you've got to be quite careful about the ratio of gelatine to what you're cooking and you've got to get it the right temperature and if you don't it just ends up not being very nice

K: So you want to do the sciencey side of cooking?

M: Mmm yeah

Who is your biggest inspiration when cooking?

M: I think Jamie Oliver

L: I knew you were gong to say that

K: Really? I thought it would have been Delia

M: Mm really? I think Jamie Oliver broke the mould when he came into cooking because it was so much more simple and paired back then other people before. So yeah, I think he was quite inspirational

K: Like home cooking?

L: Why did they call him the naked chef? Because it was so paired back? Not because he was naked?

ALL: *laugh*

M: Because it was the raw ingredients, well not the raw ingredients... but there wasn't lots of added things to it - before that it was quite complicated; it was all very long winded

K: But he was like a home cook?

M: Yeah. Although I'm not so keen on him now, I don't watch his programs now

K: But you would still say he's an inspiration to you now as well?

M: No, but I don't know who is really. I find that.. I suppose that Nadia, the one who won the Great British Bake Off, as well when she started off she was quite good

K: So it's the ground breaking?

M: Yeah when they start off and then they get a bit... but yeah, Delia Smith Christmas, Good Housekeeping are always good because they always tried and tested the recipes so they work really well.

What do you like to listen to while you cook?

M: I just normally listen to the radio

L: Okay, any particular music? Or people speaking?

K: Claudia Winkelman? *laughs*

M: No, as long as it's not Claudia Winkelman I don't care what it is... I suppose because you tend to cook at certain times the people that listen to on the radio tend to be the people who are on the radio at that time... but I don't have a way of listening to music other than the radio

L: Your record player

ALL: *laugh*

M: Yeah, I've got a record player but I don't get that out or put that on when I'm cooking, and I don't really Spotify, which is the only other way you can listen to music these days isn't it. Yes, so that's the answer to that: the radio, unless it's Claudia and then she goes off. We had classic FM this morning so we didn't have to listen to her

L: Poor Claudia

K: I think she'll get over it

What is the best dish you've ever eaten?

M: Well I think that eating food isn't just about the food its about the surroundings where you eat it

K: Good answer

M: So one of the best things I ever ate, which I probably wouldn't eat in any other place, is spaghetti vongole

L: Oh, with the clams?

M: With the clams on a beach in Italy

L: Where in Italy?

M: Um, it was Tropea I think

K: That's on the South coast

M: Right down the bottom... and it was just like a normal kind of beach side café.. just fancied a bite to eat at lunch time and it was just on the menu and I think it was the sea air and sitting by the beach and the very freshness of the food.. it was very simple but very delicious, but I do think it's a bit like when you have a wine when you're away, and you try a local wine and you think oh this tastes really delicious and then you bring it home with you and it never tasters the same

K and L: Yeahhh

M: It's the same sort of thing. You have to have it there and then

Mum's Stew and Dumplings



2tbsp oil

1lb cubed stewing beef

1 medium onion

2 carrots

2 parsnips

1/2 turnip

Herbs: Rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, sage


Tin of tomatoes



100g self raising flour

50g shredded suet

salt and pepper


  1. Fry off onions

  2. Brown meat

  3. Add veg and herbs

  4. Add liquid to just cover pot contents

  5. Put in oven with lid on pot at 180c/ gas mark 3 for 2 hours

  6. Add dumplings (recipe below) 20 mins from end of cooking. Top up liquid if required


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