As a struggling new homeowner and wife, I was introduced to Mulligan stew in the 80s. Money was always tight, and I remember existing on a diet of Top Ramen, bologna sandwiches and tuna casserole. At that time, bologna was affordable.
One evening, my husband confessed that he was sick of my cooking. Most of all, he hated my tuna casserole.
He called his creation “Mulligan’s Stew.”
Over the years, I learned that Mulligan stew is a delicious, inexpensive meal that takes more time than effort. Check your refrigerator and pantry. You probably have all the ingredients needed to make this stew. If you want a vegetarian version of Mulligan stew, you can leave out the meat and beef stock.
About a decade later, I divorced my first husband, but kept his Mulligan stew recipe. This is a recipe that gets better with time because you can always experiment. You can’t get tired of it. After you’ve made this stew a few times, you won’t need to measure the ingredients. You’ll just know what works.
Mulligan stew is best when cooked on a cold winter day. If I’m waiting on the rain to come pouring down, I like keeping the stew on a low simmer until dinnertime so that the aroma can fill our home. I usually serve it with a generous slice of sourdough bread.
1 lb. stew meat
1 cup sliced carrots (or baby carrots)
3-4 ribs celery, cut into pieces
1 onion, chopped
3 potatoes, cut into quarters
1 small head cabbage, cut into quarters
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 tsp. each: garlic salt, pepper, minced garlic, and Italian seasoning
1 cup beef stock
2 cups red wine
oil or butter
- Cut stew meat into small pieces (smaller than bite-size). Coat meat with seasonings and flour.
- In a stock pot, brown the stew meat in butter or oil.
- Add wine. Keep scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen bits.
- Add vegetables. Over medium heat, stir until they partially soften.
- Cover meat and vegetables with approximately 8 cups of water. Bring to boil.
- Loosely cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours.
- Add cabbage and kale. Cover with 4 cups water. Bring to boil.
- Cover pot and simmer until cabbage and kale soften (about half an hour). Stir occasionally.
- Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers.