I don’t often get requests for Polish food, but when I do, they’re usually for bigos. Which makes perfect sense, since this meaty stew is one of the most delicious dishes you’ll ever taste. It’s also low-carb, highly nutritious, and very simple to make, as long as you don’t consider having to wait a day to eat it, “complicated.”
Bigos (Polish Hunter’s Stew) – Go Bigos or Go Home
While you can eat this as soon as it’s made, and I bet most of you do, it’s much better the next day, as all the flavors have time to properly meld together. You can also really customize this to your personal tastes by changing up which meats you use.
Traditionally, this is made with wild game, such as venison, boar, and other shootable animals, but is perfectly acceptable, if not amazing, using easier to find domestic livestock. Regardless of which meats you include, be sure to use a lot of them, as I think this stew should be at least 50% meat.
Since you can, and should make this ahead of time, it’s perfect for feeding large groups, especially when the weather turns cold and dreary. But, no matter what it’s doing outside, I hope you give this a try, and have a pot simmering inside soon. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 6 portions:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 packed cups drained sauerkraut
1 small head green cabbage, quartered and sliced (2 pound head before trimming)
4 strips bacon, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 lb pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb polish sausage links, sliced (or any other sausage)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 pitted prunes, diced
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked until soft and chopped
1 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 large bay leaf
freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste