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Ghostly Beef Stew

Potatoes and Tomatoes are both in season this month and both can be used in this cute Halloween stew!

Stew Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs. beef chuck cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup flour (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 yellow or white onion diced
1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
8 oz. tomato sauce

1/2 cup red wine (or use tomato juice with a splash of balsamic vinegar)
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried thyme
3 carrots peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces

Whipped Potato Ghosts-Ingredients
2 lbs. Yukon Gold or russet potatoes
1 clove garlic peeled
1 1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup nonfat or low fat milk
1/4 tsp. dried thyme or 1/2 tsp fresh

Dredge the meat in the flour and reserve 1 Tbsp. of the flour.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large stockpot and brown the meat in a single layer, flipping it once or twice, until it is almost cooked through, 6-8 minutes. Reduce the heat if it is getting too brown.

Remove the meat from the pan and add the onions and 1 Tbsp. flour. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes until they begin to brown.

Return the meat to the pot and add the broth, tomato sauce, wine or juice, Worcestershire, salt and thyme. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and cover it. Simmer it for 45 – 60 minutes.

Add the carrots and cover and simmer the stew for 45 minutes more, until the meat and vegetables are tender. (Meanwhile make the whipped potatoes for the ghosts.)

Serve it right away or refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or let it cool and freeze it for up to 3 months.

Whipped Potato Ghosts Directions
Bring a large pot that’s about half full of water to a boil. Peel and cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces. While the water is coming to a boil, add the potatoes, the garlic clove and about 1 tsp. of the salt to the water and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.

Drain the potatoes and garlic and return them to the pot over medium heat, shaking until any remaining water dries. Transfer the potatoes and garlic to a large mixing bowl; add the butter or margarine, the milk (or buttermilk, if you have it), thyme and remaining salt. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until they are just smooth—don’t over mix (or mash them, if you prefer). Serve immediately or transfer to an oven-safe serving bowl and keep warm in a 300 degree oven until you are ready to serve.

Put the whipped potatoes in a strong plastic bag (sandwich-sized Ziploc works well), snip 1 inch off the bottom corner of the bag on the diagonal, and squeeze out the ghosts. The eyes can be peppercorns, coriander seeds, pieces of olives or carrots; use your imagination!