Kids of all ages will be delighted with the seasonal twist on this hearty beef stew, which also features mushrooms and parsnips. Rich mashed potato "ghosts" are piped onto each bowlful. The cook will love the convenient slow cooker preparation. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms, halved
- 2 cups fresh baby carrots
- 2 medium parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1-1/2 cups beef broth
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 8 medium potatoes (2-1/3 pounds), peeled and cubed
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons water
- In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 11 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until beef and vegetables are tender.
- About 30 minutes before serving, place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Return potatoes to pan; add the sour cream, butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mash until smooth.
- Set aside 12 peas for garnish. Add remaining peas to the slow cooker. Increase heat to high. In a bowl, whisk the flour, water and remaining salt until smooth; stir into stew. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until thickened.
- Divide stew among six bowls. Place mashed potatoes in large resealable plastic bag; cut a 2-in. hole in one corner. Pipe ghost potatoes onto stew; garnish with reserved peas. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Beef Stew with Ghoulish Mashed Potatoes in Halloween Party Favorites 2009 2009, p19
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