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“Henry taught me how you make mulligan stew that day. I watched as he got it started in at all battered tin can. He balanced the can on rocks that had been carefully positioned the campfire. He cut up the onions, Reedy brought him a small piece of sausage, and Henry let start to cook in the bottom of the tin….Henry dumped in the soup and added water… Professor added several potatoes…and a couple of tomatoes.”  Line by Line

Mulligan Stew

Mulligan Stew


1 pound stewing beef, cubed

3 tablespoons flour

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

2 medium carrots, chopped

1 pound small potatoes halved or larger

  ones chopped

2 sprigs thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1 cup red wine or 1 bottle of beer

14.5 ounces diced tomatoes canned

1 teaspoon white or brown sugar or

   1/2 teaspoon sugar substitute

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

Mulligan Stew


1. Take cubed beef and marinate in balsamic vinegar for 2 hours or longer. This is helpful for slighter tougher cuts of beef.

2. In heavy pan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Drain and reserve liquid. Add cubed beef and sprinkle flour over the beef. Stir to combine. Cook about 3-4 minutes, or until beef cubes are browned. Remove and set aside.

3. Add onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes and thyme sautéing gently for about 10 minutes. Add more oil if necessary.

4. Add back beef cubes and reserved liquid to vegetables, along with canned tomatoes, wine or beer, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer.

5. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until beef is tender. Correct seasoning.


1. As this is an improvised stew, feel free to add vegetables on hand—turnips, parsnips, mushrooms, peas and so on. While fresh is always better, use canned or frozen when needed.  Use about 3 pounds of vegetables.

2. If you do not use or have wine or beer, marinate the beef in 2 -3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Drain before sautéing and do not add back into mixture.

3. After Step 4, you may also cook the stew in a 325 oven for 2 hours or until beef is tender.

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