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Short Rib Stew with Mashed Potato Ghosts

Perfect on an eerie Halloween evening, Short Rib Stew topped with mashed potato ghosts is a hearty meal that's both flavorful and fun. Our Short Ribs simmer down well and release lots of juices that also make for the tastiest broth.

Short Rib Stew with Mashed Potato Ghosts


  • 1 1/2 lbs Short Ribs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 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
  • 3 red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 lbs Yukon Gold or russet potatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme, or 1/2 tsp fresh
  • Black olives for ghost eyes
Prep time
10 minutes
Cook time
2 hours


  1. To make the short rib stew, dredge the meat in the flour and reserve 1 tbsp of the flour. Heat oil over medium heat in large stockpot. Brown meat in a single layer, flipping it once or twice, until almost cooked through, 6-8 minutes. Reduce the heat if getting too brown.
  2. Remove meat from the pan and add onions and 1 Tbsp. flour. Sauté onions for about 5 minutes until they begin to brown. Return meat to pot and add broth, tomato sauce, wine or juice, Worcestershire, salt and thyme. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and cover it. Simmer for 45 – 60 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots and potatoes and cover and simmer the stew for 45 minutes more, until the meat and vegetables are tender. Serve right away.
  4. To make the mashed potatoes, 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.
  5. Drain the potatoes and garlic and return them to the pot over medium heat, shaking until any remaining water dries.
  6. Transfer the potatoes and garlic to a large mixing bowl; add the butter, milk, thyme and remaining salt. Mash the potatoes or beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until they are just smooth.
  7. To make mashed potato ghosts, put the mashed potatoes in a Ziploc bag, snip 1 inch off the bottom corner of the bag on the diagonal, and squeeze out the ghosts. Used small slices of black olives for the eyes.
  8. Place mashed potato ghosts on top of stew and enjoy this spooky meal!
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