Famed for its practicality, Mulligan stew is a time-honored tradition from the Great Depression. To experience a little bit of history or just use up leftover ingredients, you can learn how to make it yourself!
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The term “mulligan” nowadays refers to a do-over, usually in golf, as a result of some bad luck. However, it used to be a bit of a stand-in term for an Irishman, so anything vaguely related to the Irish was often given the name of “mulligan.”
This explains why this stew, extremely similar to the stereotypical classic Irish stew, is known as mulligan stew in North America.
Designed to use whatever ingredients that there happened to be available, this recipe was very commonly made during the Great Depression and represented a way for poorer communities to share food and improve their diets.
Of course, nowadays, it is a lot easier to get meat and vegetables, so why not make a rich and hearty version of this classic stew?
Mulligan Stew Ingredients
Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.
• All-purpose flour
• Beef stew meat cut into 1-inch cubes
• Vegetable oil
• Beef broth
• Bay leaves
• Garlic salt
• Dried oregano
• Dried basil
• Dill weed
• Carrots (cut into 1-inch slices)
• Potatoes (peeled and cubed)
• Celery ribs (cut into 1-inch slices)
• Onion (cut into 8 wedges)
• Green beans
• Lima beans
• Fresh parsley
How To Make Mulligan Stew
• Combine the flour and pepper together and toss it with the beef
• In a Dutch oven, brown the beef in the oil over medium-high heat
• Add broth, water, bay leaves, garlic salt, oregano, basil, and dill
• Bring the whole thing to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes on low
• After 40 minutes, add the vegetables and simmer for 15 minutes, or until tender
• Combine the corn starch and cold water together until smooth and then add to the stew
• Bring to a boil, constantly stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes
• Remove the bay leaves, add the parsley and then serve
Do you Have To Use Meat In Your Mulligan Stew?
This recipe for mulligan stew uses some pretty traditional beef stewing meat, as well as some beef broth, to form the foundation of the stew.
While this is certainly very traditional, there is nothing stopping you from going vegan and forgoing meat products altogether!
The traditional recipes likely involved meat as a base because of the need for protein, plus the societal fascination with meat being a part of every meal would likely have led to its inclusion.
To keep your stew vegan, you can easily sub out the beef broth, using some veggie broth instead. From there, you can either add more vegetables to make up for the missing beef or just go meat-substitute and use things like tofu.
As long as you build a solid, highly seasoned flavor base, you cannot really go wrong!
How To Really Make a Traditional Mulligan Stew
The original, traditional mulligan stew is mostly associated with the Great Depression and represents an ardent effort among poorer communities to try and band together to improve their nutrition.
More people than ever before found themselves not only homeless but also with extreme food insecurity as a result of the economic crisis.
These communal cookouts were often the only meal these people had, so everyone worked together. Each person contributed an item of food, all adding it together until they eventually ended up with a hopefully healthy, larger meal.
This is the real origin of the mulligan stew, and if you are after historical realism, you can easily replace that experience yourself!
Simply host a sort of potluck with friends or family; have each guest bring an ingredient, and then, when everyone arrives, cook it together in a big pot!
It might be a bit easier if you specify certain guests to bring certain types of foods, though; you don’t want everyone turning up with different kinds of meats! Assign some people to meats, others to veggies, and others to seasonings and see what you can come up with!
And, since we are lucky enough to be able to enjoy such food security, having guests also bring a donation for your local food bank at your party is an EXCELLENT idea!
Looking for more delicious Stew recipes? Try these out:
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- Prep Time
- 30 minutes
- Cook Time
- 55 minutes
- American, Irish
- Karlynn Johnston
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound beef stew meat (cut into 1 inch cubes)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2.5 cups beef broth
- 1 cup water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
- 3 medium carrots (cut into 1 inch slices)
- 2 medium potatoes (peeled and cubed)
- 2 celery ribs (cut into 1 inch slices)
- 1 onion (cut into 8 wedges)
- 1 cup green beans (frozen)
- 1 cup corn (frozen)
- 1 cup peas (frozen)
- 1 cup lima beans (frozen)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (minced)
- Combine flour and pepper toss with beef.
- In a Dutch oven, brown the beef in the oil over medium-high heat. Add broth, water, bay leaves, garlic salt, oregano, basic and dill; bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
- Add vegetables and simmer for 15 minutes longer until tender.
- Combine corn starch and cold water until smooth; then add to stew.
- Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
- Remove bay leaves, add parsley and serve.
- feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.