Mulligan Stew

Also known as a community stew, a Mulligan Stew is a tasty way to bring folks together.  This beef and potato stew is ideal comfort food on a chilly winter day!

Also known as a community stew, a Mulligan Stew is a tasty way to bring folks together.  This beef and potato stew is ideal comfort food on a chilly winter day!If ever there was a time for a mulligan, it’s now.  2020 was a bit of a hot mess, wouldn’t you agree?  The Great Quarantine was nice in some ways in that I got to spend a lot of time with Laura, Robbie and our two new puppies.  But trying to work while also edutaining (that’d be educating + entertaining) a 4-year-old is enough to drive anyone mad.  Let’s take a mulligan on 2020 and start the new year with a clean slate!

Also known as a community stew, a Mulligan Stew is a tasty way to bring folks together.  This beef and potato stew is ideal comfort food on a chilly winter day!The term mulligan is often used in golf when a player gets to take an extra free shot following a particularly bad shot.  You basically get to replay the shot.  That’s how I feel about 2020.  Let’s just put the ball back on the tee and try that year again.  (On a related note, did you know that the opposite of a mulligan is a ‘gilligan?’  That’s when an opponent can request that you make a particularly good shot again.  Maybe 2021 can be a gilligan year!)

Mulligan Stew

Despite the use of the term above, Mulligan Stew is actually not related to golf.  Like many recipes, the naming origins of Mulligan Stew are a bit murky.  However, it is generally accepted that this stew originates from Ireland where ‘mulligan’ is a stand-in term referring to an Irishman.  Mulligan Stew is essentially a classic Irish stew, but with the use of beef instead of mutton.

Also known as a community stew, a Mulligan Stew is a tasty way to bring folks together.  This beef and potato stew is ideal comfort food on a chilly winter day!This stew is a popular ‘community stew’ where each member of the community contributes part of the recipe.  Someone builds a fire for cooking.  Someone else finds the meat.  Another person rustles up whatever veggies they can find.  The finished stew is essentially a catch-all recipe using whatever ingredients are available.  A Mulligan Stew is also called a ‘hobo stew’ as it was a popular meal in hobo camps in the early 1900’s.  The stew was often cooked in a large can over an open fire.

Other regional variations of the Mulligan Stew are quite popular, too.  In Kentucky, the term ‘burgoo’ refers to a communal stew, although burgoo is often spicier than Mulligan Stew.  In fact, a study by the Works Progress Administration noted that the concept of burgoo began when a Confederate army cook put “potatoes, tomatoes, onions, some cabbage, twenty-nine blackbirds, three crows, a goose, several hens, and a young pig” in a powder kettle and let the whole thing simmer.  Talk about a stew made from whatever you could find!

Also known as a community stew, a Mulligan Stew is a tasty way to bring folks together.  This beef and potato stew is ideal comfort food on a chilly winter day!Mulligan Stew has certainly evolved over the years.  After all, I don’t think hobos would have had ready access to beef and frozen veggies.  And this version is cooked on a stovetop and in the oven rather than over an open fire.  I’m sure it could still be cooked over an open fire, but I don’t have a lot of experience in that type of cooking.  That, and it’s really flippin’ cold outside right now – I think I’ll stay inside.  Nevertheless, the point remains that this stew is a great catch-all recipe that uses whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand.  (Thus the use of both fresh and frozen veggies in this recipe.)

Also known as a community stew, a Mulligan Stew is a tasty way to bring folks together.  This beef and potato stew is ideal comfort food on a chilly winter day!As we head into the new year, I hope this year is much better than the last!  Cheers, and I hope you enjoy a good hot bowl of this Mulligan Stew sometime soon!

Did you make this Mulligan Stew at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

Also known as a community stew, a Mulligan Stew is a tasty way to bring folks together.  This beef and potato stew is ideal comfort food on a chilly winter day!

Mulligan Stew

Also known as a community stew, a Mulligan Stew is a tasty way to bring folks together.  This beef and potato stew is ideal comfort food on a chilly winter day!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 408kcal

Ingredients

  • 2½-3 lbs beef stew meat cut into 1” cubes (see note)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil divided
  • 4 large carrots sliced
  • 3 celery ribs sliced
  • 1 large white onion chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried dill
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 large yellow potatoes peeled and cut into 1” cubes
  • 24 oz. mixed frozen vegetables i.e. peas, corn, green beans, carrots, etc.
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Pat cubed beef dry with paper towels and place in a large bowl. Add flour, pepper and salt; toss until well combined.
  • Using a Dutch oven, add 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil and place over medium heat. Once hot, add half of beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned on all sides (~5-6 minutes). Transfer browned beef to a plate and repeat with 1 more Tbsp of vegetable oil and the remaining beef. Transfer second batch of browned beef to plate as well.
  • Add remaining 1 Tbsp of oil to the pot along with the carrots, celery and onions. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until onions have just begun to soften.
  • Add minced garlic, onion powder, oregano and dill; stir until well combined. Continue sautéing for 1-2 more minutes, stirring often.
  • Add undrained crushed tomatoes and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes, or until most of the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated.
  • Add broth and beef; increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a simmer. Once simmering, cover and place pot in the oven. Cook for 1 hour.
  • Remove pot from oven; add cubed potatoes and frozen veggies; stir until well combined. Cover and return pot to oven for 1½ more hours.
  • If stew needs thickening, whisk together cornstarch with 2 Tbsp of water. Stir corn starch mixture into stew.
  • Divide stew into bowls and garnish with chopped fresh parsley before serving.

Notes

Most butchers sell stew meat that is already cut into cubes. However, you can often save a bit of money by purchasing a beef roast and cutting it into cubes yourself.

Also known as a community stew, a Mulligan Stew is a tasty way to bring folks together.  This beef and potato stew is ideal comfort food on a chilly winter day!

Looking for other tasty soup and stew recipes?  Check out these other favorites, too:

This Cheeseburger Soup is the perfect comfort food for cold winter nights when you don't feel like shoveling a path to the grill!Cheeseburger Soup

With chilly Winter days around the corner, grab some leftover bread and make a pot of Ribollita.  This Tuscan White Bean Stew is a delicious way to warm up on a cold day!Ribollita (Tuscan White Bean Stew)

It's not often you get to include BBQ sauce in a stew!  This Brunswick Stew is loaded with smoked meats and veggies - perfect comfort food for a cold winter night!Brunswick Stew

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22 Comments

  1. I really love the whole story behind this stew. Although we can’t be bringing people together quite yet… Here’s hoping 2021 will be a much better year. It couldn’t be any worse, could it?!!!

  2. 5 stars
    I can rate this 5 stars because I made it last night—before I saw this recipe! I didn’t know it was called Mulligan stew, but I love to use the word mulligan when I need a do-over! The only littke differences in my stew in yours, is that I caramelized a half can of tomato paste and deglazed the pot with some red wine. So I didn’t use canned tomatoes. And in addition to the carrots, onions, celery and potatoes, I added a couple of handfuls of frozen “soup vegetables” which happened to have some okra and baby Lina beans and a little corn. Oh, and I used thyme instead of oregano, but all in all, basically the same stew! (PS I clicked on 5 stars several times, but it’s not sticking for some reason, so don’t know if it will show up)

    1. Ooo – I really like that idea of caramelizing the tomato paste and then deglazing with red wine. Talk about a boost of flavor! That’s the beauty of a Mulligan Stew – each one is slightly different. I’m totally keeping your ideas in mind for next time we make this. (It’s a good one for cold January days, and I’m looking outside at piles of snow right now…) Happy New Year, Kim!!

  3. 5 stars
    Oh gosh, I need to say so many things.
    1. First of all, and most important, happy New Year David; 2. I really am surprised by you posting your first recipe on January the first, I’ll repeat, on January the first. That’s the dedication, David! 3. I’ve never heard the recipe mulligan; 4. Stew is always a great idea, and this one looks and sounds delightful; 5. I feel like eating only salads and carrots for a while (I’ve certainly eaten so much meat during the holiday season that I usually consume for the entire year. Well, that’s not true of course, but I feel this way right now lol; 6. That being said, I am definitely trying this recipe in a couple of weeks or so. I hope I didn’t forget anything:)

    1. Haha – the January 1 post was purely because of the title and story behind this stew. If it wasn’t for 2020, I probably would’ve waited. 🙂 We’re into full-on soup season here in our house. It’s a great way to detox after all of the yummy holiday treats and drinks. I highly recommend putting this soup on the agenda – it’s basically a beef and potato soup, and you can alter it in any way you like. Happy New Year, my friend!

  4. It might be fun to make a stew like this over an open fire when camping, but just the thought of loading all the necessities into the car makes me want to make the stew at home, maybe it in heavy foil packets, and then warm it by an open fire. It sure is stewing weather, though, David, so thanks for the recipe!

    1. Yup, I’m with ya there, Jeff. Making a stew over an open fire sounds like fun. I could probably even use our fire pit in the backyard. But then I look into the backyard and see all that snow…and suddenly making this stew indoors sounds like a lot more fun! 🙂

  5. Amen to 2021 being better than 2020! But I’m pretty sure it will be. And if not… well, let’s not go there!

    Quarantine has had its advantages but it’s certainly getting a bit old at this point. But I guess a nice Mulligan Stew will keep us warm and comforting while we wait for the end of this pandemic, which thankfully seems in sight. Fingers crossed!

    1. Hah – yes, let’s not go there, Frank. 2021 will be the a gilligan year, I hope! 🙂

      I do agree that there were some silver linings to the quarantine, but as you noted, they are getting old now. I’m looking at piles of snow outside, and I’m thinking a big pot of stew is in order. Cheers, my friend!

  6. This stew sounds fantastic and looks it, too! The backstory reminds me (in a way) of Stone Soup! Happy New Year, David! I think this deliciousness is a great way to start the new year. 🙂 ~Valentina

    1. I’m not familiar with Stone Soup, but I’ll have to look it up. A good Mulligan Stew is a fun one in that no two versions are the same. There are so many ways to put fun twists on this recipe. Either way, it’s soup season, and this is a great way to warm up on a cold January day. Happy New Year, Valentina!

    1. I’m with ya, Kathy! May 2021 be the year that 2020 wasn’t. 🙂 And, yes, it’s soup season here. Put on a pot and warm up, my friend!

    1. A good chunky stew is perfect for this time of the year, right? I’m staring out at piles of snow, so that means it’s definitely ‘soup season’ here in our house! Cheers to the new year, Marissa – and, yes, let’s hope it’s much better than last!

  7. Happy New Year, David! It was great to read about this stew, looks totally comforting, and nutritious! I love the loaded goodness from all the veggies, super filling, and perfect meal with the family. You have an wonderful year!

    1. Happy New Year to you, too, Aarthi! This stew really does have a fun story behind it – and it’s a unique one since every version is different. That’s what happens with a community stew! Either way, this version is tasty, and it’s perfect for the cold days we have here right now. I hope your year is off to a great start so far!

  8. 5 stars
    Love reading about the different terms… I love a good Irish stew, but I’ve only had the ones from the can… if that even counts?! 😉 I’ll have to make it with your recipe one of these days. So comforting for a cold winter’s day. 🙂

    1. Canned soup totally counts – it’s just not as good as a homemade version. 🙂 We’ve certainly hit the cold days of winter here, and that means it’s soup season. This is a fun one – not only for flavor, but the story behind it, too. Stay warm, Michelle!

  9. 5 stars
    DELICIOUS! Wish I had a bowl of your Muligan Stew right now David. Love all the ingredients you use, and the concept of the dish. (Although it does sound like that Confederate cook took it a LITTLE too far. 😄. Absolutely fascinating history for this stew!). A great recipe to start the New Year with!

    1. The story behind the Mulligan Stew really is quite fun – communal in the best way possible! (I do agree with you about that Confederate cook, though – 29 blackbirds!?) Stay warm out there, Shannon!!

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