The Ultimate Guide to Mulligan Stew: Everything You Need to Know

Mulligan stew, a classic American dish, has been enjoyed for generations. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Mulligan stew, from its origins to how to make the perfect batch at home.

What is Mulligan Stew?

Mulligan stew, often referred to as a “hobo stew” or a “potluck stew,” originated in the early 20th century. The name “Mulligan” is thought to come from the Irish slang term for someone who is always asking for seconds, suggesting its irresistibility.

Origins of Mulligan Stew

The exact origins of Mulligan stew are shrouded in mystery, but it is believed to have been created by transient workers during the Great Depression. These resourceful individuals would gather whatever ingredients they could find or beg for and cook them together in a communal pot to create a hearty meal.


Mulligan stew is a versatile dish that can be made with a variety of ingredients. Here are the basic components:

Ingredient Description
Meat Beef, chicken, or sausage, either fresh or leftovers
Vegetables Potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, bell peppers, etc.
Broth Beef or chicken broth, or water/vegetable broth
Seasonings Salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, etc.
Optional Extras Beans, corn, peas, tomatoes, or any other available veg.

How to Make Mulligan Stew

Making Mulligan stew is straightforward and adaptable. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:


  • 1 lb beef stew meat, cubed
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add beef stew meat and brown on all sides.
  3. Add onions and garlic, cook until softened.
  4. Add potatoes, carrots, broth, and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 hours until meat is tender.
  6. Adjust seasoning if necessary and serve hot.

Tips for Making the Perfect Mulligan Stew

  • Variety is key: Use a mix of vegetables for flavor and nutrition.
  • Simmer for flavor: Let the stew simmer slowly to develop rich flavors.
  • Season to taste: Adjust seasoning throughout the cooking process to suit your preferences.


Mulligan stew is highly adaptable. Here are a few variations to try:

Vegetarian Mulligan Stew

Omit the meat and add extra vegetables like mushrooms, squash, and beans for a hearty vegetarian version.

Seafood Mulligan Stew

Swap out the meat for seafood like fish or shellfish for a delicious seafood twist.

Spicy Mulligan Stew

Add diced jalapenos, red pepper flakes, or hot sauce for a spicy kick.


Mulligan stew is a comforting and versatile dish that can be customized to suit any taste or dietary preference. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or get creative with your ingredients, Mulligan stew is sure to warm your belly and your soul. So gather your ingredients and enjoy a steaming bowl of this timeless comfort food today

Written by Best Food

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