Mulligan Stew made with beef and lots of vegetables is the savory soup of your dreams. It’s easy to make, tender, and absolutely delicious.
This post is sponsored by Klarbrunn.
If you’re looking for a soul-satisfying recipe that’s perfect to enjoy on a cold night, this is the soup you’ve been searching for.
This amazing and simple stew is comfort food at its best. A warm bowl of this, followed by an evening curled up with a great book in a comfy chair by a wood stove is my idea of perfection.
I’ve partnered up with Klarbrunn to bring you this delicious stew recipe. I’m always sipping on a can of their flavored sparkling water while I cook, and Citrus Blend is my favorite flavor to sip on while I make this recipe. You can find out where to buy Klarbrunn here.
Mulligan Stew Origin
Mulligan’s beef stew, also known as community stew, is said to have originated during the Great Depression in homeless camps. It’s essentially a combination of meat, potatoes, and vegetables, in any and all combinations.
That means there’s a ton of variety in recipes from family to family. This is our family recipe, and while I love adding in other vegetables from time to time, this recipe is tried and true and I always come back to it.
Mulligan Stew vs. Beef Stew
Since Mulligan Stew originated as a Depression era food, it tends to have a much higher ratio of vegetables to meat than beef stew does. While a traditional beef stew will normally have about a 3:1 ratio of meat to potatoes, Mulligan Stew actually has more potatoes and vegetables than it has beef.
What Kind of Potatoes Should You Use?
This depends on how long you plan to cook the potatoes. I add the potatoes when the stew’s a little over halfway finished, so peeled and cubed russet potatoes work really well for me. If you’re planning to start the stew with the potatoes already in it and cook them for the full amount of time, I’d recommend using Yukon Gold potatoes.
Slow Cooker or Crock Pot Stew
You can definitely make this in the slow cooker! Just saute the beef and vegetables as directed in the instructions, then cook the beef and liquids on low for 3 hours, then add the vegetables and potatoes and cook on low for an additional 5 hours (a total of 8 hours).
You could add everything in at the start and cook the whole stew on low for 8 hours, but I think the vegetables and potatoes would be a little too soft (at least for my taste).
Instant Pot Stew
This is a great soup to make in the Instant Pot! Start by following the sauteing instructions, then cook the browned beef and liquid ingredients on Manual for 25 minutes, followed by a natural release for 10 minutes. Add in the potatoes and sauteed vegetables, and cook on Manual for 10 minutes, followed by a quick release.
Can You Freeze This Soup?
If you’re planning to use this soup as a freezer meal, I’d recommend freezing it without the potatoes. The rest of the stew will freeze well, but potatoes in soup can end up with a grainy texture after they thaw.
Optional Ingredient Additions
Here’s the beautiful thing about Mulligan’s Stew. It’s seriously SO adaptable. It’s meant to use whatever you have on hand, so if you have any vegetables you’d like to add, definitely include them.
Some of my favorite additions are:
- Frozen Mixed Vegetables
- Green Beans
- Pearl Onions
- Sliced Mushrooms
- Fresh Herbs
This last one isn’t an addition, but an adaptation. If you happen to have leftover roast, that would make this a super fast and easy stew to throw together! Just skip the first 30 minutes of simmering time, and replace the stew meat with the leftover roast. You could even use ground beef in place of the stew beef if that’s what you have on hand.
How to Make this Gluten Free
The only ingredients you need to watch in this recipe are the Worcestershire sauce and the bouillon. The brand of Worcestershire sauce that I use is gluten free, but not all of them are. You’ll need to use gluten free brands for this recipe to be gluten free. Other than those, the rest of the ingredients are gluten free.
How to Make This Keto
To make this keto, you’ll need to halve the amounts of carrots and celery, replace the potatoes with quartered radish, and thicken the soup with xantham gum instead of cornstarch.
If you’re looking for more delicious beef recipes, be sure to check out some of our reader favorites!
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- 2 Tablespoons neutral oil of choice (divided)
- 1 ½ pounds quality beef stew meat (cut into 1” cubes, chuck roast is a great option)
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt (divided)
- 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
- 4 medium carrots (sliced into ¼” thick rounds)
- 4 stalks celery (sliced into ¼” thick pieces)
- 2 - 4 medium cloves garlic (diced, depending on taste preference)
- 5 cups + 2 Tablespoons water (divided)
- 1 (14.5) ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons Better Than Bouillon Roasted Beef Base (swap for certified gluten free bouillon of choice if necessary)
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (certified gluten free if necessary)
- 2 large bay leaves
- 2 pounds russet potatoes (peeled and diced into 1” cubes)
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
- Minced fresh parsley (optional, for garnish)
- Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of oil to the bottom of the pot, and swirl to coat. Once the oil is heated and shimmering, add the beef cubes in a single layer (you may have to sear the beef in multiple rounds), season with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Brown the beef on each side, for a total of about 6 minutes. Remove the beef to a plate and set to the side.
- Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil to the bottom of the pot, and swirl to coat. Add the onion and saute for 2 minutes (or until just slightly translucent). Add in the carrot and celery, stir, and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, and saute until fragrant (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). Remove the vegetables to a plate and set to the side.
- Add ½ cup water to deglaze the pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the flavorful bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the beef back to the pot, add in 4 ½ cups water, canned diced tomatoes, Better Than Bouillon Roasted Beef Base, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, remaining 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and bay leaves.
- Turn the temperature to high to bring to a boil, then lower the temperature to medium-low to bring the soup to a simmer. Simmer covered for 30 minutes, or until the beef is tender.
- Carefully add the sauteed vegetables and potatoes to the pot, and simmer covered for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Combine the cornstarch with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of water in a small bowl, and whisk to combine. Add the thickening mixture to the pot, stir, and simmer for an additional 2 minutes, or until the soup has thickened some.
- Remove the bay leaves before serving. Serve warm, and sprinkle with fresh parsley if desired.
Cognac would be an excellent choice to deglaze the pan if you have that on hand.
If you like your stew to have a thicker consistency, you can double the cornstarch.
This is our family recipe, but the beauty of Mulligan Stew is that you’re encouraged to add in whatever vegetables you have laying around. Really popular and delicious additions include corn and green beans (my personal favorite additions), sliced mushrooms, and cabbage.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 11.2gCarbohydrates: 21.3gNet Carbohydrates: 18.7gFiber: 2.6gSugar: 3.6gProtein: 17.8g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
Enjoy my family’s from scratch take on Mulligan Stew!