Bigos - Polish Hunter's Stew

November 18, 2018
Bigos - Polish Hunter's Stew

Author Notes: I was never a huge fan of Bigos as a kid because it tended to be quite rich and made with fatty pork - of which I was never a fan. I rediscovered the beauty and simplicity of the dish when I could make it myself. The recipe takes inspiration from ingredients foraged while hunting in the woods along with some staples from a Polish larder - sauerkraut, cabbage and smoked Polish sausage. I like to make mine with lots apples and confit duck.AniaSweets

Serves: 4 - 6
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hrs 30 min

Ingredients

  • 4 cups shredded Cabbage
  • 800 milliliters Sauerkraut in brine (Not vinegar! Not wine!)
  • 2 Onions
  • 250 grams Organic Bacon
  • 250 grams Artisanal Kielbasa Sausage, sliced into half moons.
  • 1 Small Organic pork bavette/flank (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Caraway Seeds
  • 6 Juniper Berries crushed
  • 6 Allspice Berries crushed
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 1 handful Dried Porcini mushrooms (soaked in 1 cup boiled water)
  • 1 cup Pitted Prunes
  • 4 Apples (Mackintosh or a variety), peeled
  • 750 milliliters Red Wine
  • 2 Confit Duck Legs
  • Freshly ground black pepper
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Chop the bacon and brown in a large pan or dutch oven. Remove from pan and set aside. Pour off the fat. Add the chopped onion and sausage. Cook gently until onion is soft and sausage is browned. If using the pork bavette, slice against the grain and add to pan. Add the caraway, juniper, allspice and bay leaves.
  2. Meanwhile place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl and cover with boiling water to soften. Strain the cabbage and add to pan. Cook five minutes.
  3. Add the sauerkraut (no need to rinse but squeeze out excess brine). Add prunes and 2 sliced apples. Add the bacon, wine and a generous grind of black pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for an hour, stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve with good quality bread and butter. Smacznego!

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