Gypsy Stew from Outlander

Gypsy Stew from Outlander

I was cautious, but we were welcomed with expansive motions, and invited to share the Gypsies’ dinner.  It smelt delicious – some sort of stew – and I eagerly accepted the invitation, ignoring Murtagh’s dour speculations as to the basic nature of the beast that had provided the stewmeat.

They spoke little English, and less Gaelic; we conversed largely in gestures, and a sort of bastard tongue that owed its parentage largely to French.  It was warm and companionable in the caravan where we ate; men and women and children all ate casually from bowls, sitting wherever they could find space, dipping the succulent stew up with chunks of bread.  It was the best food I had had in weeks, and I ate until my sides creaked.  I could barely muster breath to sing, but did my best, humming along in the difficult spots, and leaving Murtagh to carry the tunes.

Outlander (Chapter 34 – Dougal’s Story)

Did I make it in time?  I'm squeezing this stew in at the last minute -- the day before summer solstice isn't necessarily when you'd expect to see stew on the menu of a food blog -- but I'm hoping you'll work with me.

For one thing, it's the perfect recipe to make from last week's Vegetable Stock.  For another, while it is succulent, rich and delicious, it's not overly heavy.  Eighteenth century Gypsies in Scotland wouldn't have had potatoes, so instead, I filled this stew with leeks, root vegetables, kale and a bottle of stout.

Lastly, if the weather is hot, the last place you want to be is in the kitchen with the oven on.  This stove-top dinner almost cooks itself and keeps you, and the house, cool as a cucumber.

Gypsy Stew

The lack of potatoes means that this stew needs some help in the thickening department.  Flouring the beef at the beginning does half the job, and finishing it with a beurre manié (French for "kneaded butter") gives it a shiny gloss and enough body to coat the sides of the bowl while you grab one more roll to soak up all that gravy.

A beurre manié, while similar to a roux, is not the same.  A roux is an equal amount of butter and flour cooked together on the stovetop.  A beurre manié is an equal amount of butter and flour mixed together and left uncooked.

Whichever you're using, always remember this simple rule to ensure lump-free thickening:  Add a hot roux/beurre manière to cold liquid, or a cold roux/beurre manié to hot liquid.

Did you get that?  Works every time.

beef stew

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19 Jun 2012 - 12:00pm


Oh I just made some homemade butter which I could use in the stew & on the bread. Yep I think this will on the menu. Thank you for this website.


oooh, homemade creamery butter! How delicious.

19 Jun 2012 - 12:29pm


My mouth is watering already! I love that it's a stovetop vs. oven meal and that it "almost cooks itself" - perfect for those days when we don't feel like grilling but it's too hot for the oven...


And those hot days are coming, Jenn! (If they're not already here for you)

19 Jun 2012 - 1:16pm


Yum! This looks so delicious. It's going on my menu. Thanks Theresa!

19 Jun 2012 - 2:08pm

heather ordonez


19 Jun 2012 - 2:29pm


Everything looks deeeelish, but the thing that caught my eye was your cutting board. This may sound silly, but that cutting board is shouting its love out for all the meals it's helped prepare. I have a wooden spoon that does that for me. Of course, they both come from trees, whose spirits are so beautiful.


I bought that cutting board when my husband and I moved in together! Almost 20 years of chopping means it's beautiful to me too! :D

19 Jun 2012 - 2:34pm

Connie Barlow

Cant wait for the mouth watering gravy. There will be some lick smacking at my house tonight. Thank you O.K.

19 Jun 2012 - 5:04pm

Lindsey K.

Yum! Lots of veggies in here that I don't think I've ever eaten before (sad I know). Thanks for the tip about substituting stock for the beer and for storage. Also, your PC disclaimer about using the word "Gypsy" cracked me up.


I live on the west coast, Lindsey...what can I say about my PC tendencies? LOL

22 Jun 2012 - 10:19am


I still haven't taken even a peek at these Outlander books, but I think a tasty stew is good any time of year!


Carolyn...what have you been doing?! Get reading! ;)

03 Jul 2012 - 4:13am


A cautious needs exact instructions cook here: If I want to do this in a crock pot would there be much difference in the prep? I just got one and am itching to try it out. I'm assuming this recipe is good for it, right?

11 Jul 2012 - 8:47pm

The Mom Chef

Oh my yes, I don't care if it's 100 out there, I'll be making this. Even though I always have put potatoes in my stew, I really like keeping with how they'd have eating it and using other root vegetables instead. Talk about a flavor explosion. It looks absolutely fantastic (as usual)

15 Jul 2012 - 3:06am


I am behind in my reading. I kinda laugh when I hear folks comment about stews and soups not being served when it is Summer. Don't you eat other food cooked and hot from time to time in the summer? It is not all salads and watermelow... LOL.nThis sounds great. I have never added beer (stout) to soup, but I will try it now.nHelen in Ark.


I'm with you, Helen! But I gotta try to convince the rest of the crowd, you know? LOL

15 Aug 2012 - 10:22am


I just finished with Outlander, and I'm halfway through DIA. And it's just because I picked up the first book by accident in a second hand bookstore! And now I've stumbled on your site, I'll be definitely making this one since we have the long chilly (well, it's typhoon season in my part of the world) weekend ahead of us and the rest of the books to read!

02 Oct 2012 - 7:29pm

Murphys Beef …

Gypsy Stew from Outlander

08 Oct 2012 - 5:24pm

Ute McGillivr…

much around here, but beer gone flat can be used to add rich malty flavour to everything from beef stew to these corn fritters. We may pour it down the drain, but that would have been sacrilege to dear

02 Apr 2013 - 5:43pm


I would think the basic elements of this recipe would do nicely in a crock pot. Then it would only have to go briefly to the stovetop for thickening. Then it would really be hot weather-friendly. I agree with some of the earlier posts; it is never a bad time of the year for stew.

24 Sep 2014 - 8:46pm


That recipe will appear in a future Outlander Kitchen Cookbook...can't give away all my secrets for free! ;)

12 Apr 2015 - 4:15am

Kathy Eribarne

I made the Gypsy stew for dinner and watching Episode 10. Oh holy taste buds, it was phenomenal. We started with Atholl Brose and finished with your Maple Pudding. What a delightful Outlander meal. I am loving that I found Outlander Kitchen


That sounds like a delicious night, Kathy! So glad you found us too. :)

24 Sep 2014 - 7:23pm

John Cumberbatch

I was looking of the oyster stew...wanted to try that one.

16 Oct 2014 - 3:30pm


Will make this on Saturday as fall is fast approaching on east coast. I worked with Gypsies (Roma) in eastern Europe for several years, and your are correct! Many different names, i.e. Kalderash, Sinti, Lovar, depending on where they live, and what caste they are in. But generally, they are referred to as Roma, Rom, Romani, etc... (and sometimes spelled with two "r's", Rroma...). Fascinating and wonderful time in my life....

20 Oct 2014 - 12:10pm


I made the stew last night. My first outlander recipe. My family enjoyed very much!


I`m glad everyone liked it, Janet! What`s next? :)


I made it Saturday and brought some for lunch today...I know everyone will be jealous when they smell it heating up in the microwave! Love it....thanks Theresa!

23 Oct 2014 - 2:00am


My kitchen smells so good! Making the stew for dinner tonight, my first time trying one of your recipes. Can't wait to taste it!


Great to have you in the kitchen with us, Donna. :)


Thanks Theresa! The stew was a success! My 17 year old son says it tastes like something you would find in Scotland - high praise indeed! (We live just up the road in Nanaimo, by the way).

05 Nov 2014 - 4:16pm


Is there a recipe for the bread in the picture?


That's Jenny's Everyday Bread, Jessica. You'll find the recipe here

20 Apr 2015 - 5:38am

Jo Ellen Vice

My friends and I have a meal using a recipe from Outlander Kitchen before watching the latest episode of Outlander. Tonight it was Gypsy Stew, it was wonderful. Such a good recipe I will add it to my recipe box.

29 May 2015 - 6:49am


I've found my ep 116 dinner this weekend. We're coming in to winter here in NZ and the Gypsy Stew will be perfect! Along with Atholl Brose for me and Grant's whisky & ginger ale on ice for hubby. Yep that be the plan.

02 Oct 2015 - 1:23am

Amy Leigh

You had me at stout. This is like a carbonade. Very good with wide ribbon noddles or over mashed potatos. I've made it in the slow cooker. Works very well. Can't wait to try this version.

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