We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Mulligan Stew?

By O. Wallace
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Nearly every cold climate culture has its own version of Mulligan Stew, which is a cheap, filling meal that can be made with a pot, a fire and whatever is available at the time. Also referred to as Irish Stew, Hobo Stew, and “hotch potch,” Mulligan Stew is a time honored tradition of combining a meat, a starch and vegetables for a hearty, easy and satisfying meal. Mulligan stew is perhaps the predecessor to the one-pot meal — the essential crock pot dish of yesteryear.

No definite origin of Mulligan Stew and its name can be found, but it is thought to have been a hand down from the traditional Irish stew that so many peasants relied on as a primary source of sustenance. Because so many Irish farmers raised sheep, lamb and mutton were primary ingredients in Mulligan Stew. Potatoes — although these were most likely omitted during the potato famine — and other root vegetables were stewed together with the meat to create a rich, thick stew.

Irish culture was especially influential, particularly when Irish immigration in the U.S. peaked in the latter half of the 19th century. The first mention of Mulligan stew in print was made in 1904 in an issue of the Yukon Midnight Sun. Since many Irish immigrants were faced with poor conditions in the United States as well, this peasant dish translated, and those making the stew used beef and any other ingredients that were available.

Also known as Hobo stew, this meal was a favorite in camps where the homeless lived. Making Mulligan stew often turned out to be a cooperative effort where each person contributed a separate ingredient to it. Reportedly, the man in charge of collecting and stewing the ingredients was the designated “mulligan mixer.” In this respect, Mulligan Stew echoed the “Stone Soup” story where three itinerant men, with the help of a town, made a soup based on a stone and donated ingredients.

Recipes for Mulligan stew and related offshoots vary, and are as diverse as the ingredients available to the cook. Virtually any type of red meat can be used, to which water, potatoes, root vegetables such as celery, carrots and turnips are added. Any seasonings can be added, but salt and pepper are a must. Some variations also add tomatoes or a tomato sauce to liven up the broth, or flour to thicken it. Making Mulligan stew can be an adventure for you and your family, by making a fun night of using what is available in your pantry and refrigerator, and tasting what happens!

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By tigers88 — On Aug 09, 2012

My mom used to make mulligan stew a lot but she called it hamburger stew because that was usually the meat she used. That and carrots, potatoes, peppers, really whatever she had in the fridge thrown together with some canned tomatoes and boiled for an hour or two.

It was not gourmet cooking to be sure but it filled you up. She had three boys to feed so it was really about quantity more than quality.

By clippers — On Aug 08, 2012

I love a hot bowl of mulligan stew on a cold wet night. I cannot think of anything that is so warming and nourishing. It is like putting a blanket on your insides.

By vigilant — On Aug 07, 2012

What I love about mulligan stew is that there is really no recipe for it. It is the most basic ingredients and the most basic preparation. Beyond that, you can pretty much do whatever you want.

I have seen it with everything from deer meat to Vienna sausages thrown in. All veggies from corn on the cob to radishes, once even apples. No two stews are alike which I think is really cool.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.