Poland

Dish

Bigos is considered the national dish of Poland. It's a hearty, long-simmered meat-and-sauerkraut stew that goes back centuries. It was traditionally served at the start of the hunting season, from fearly autumn through to Shrove Tuesday, or until the family's supply of barrel-cured sauerkraut ran out! Today, it's enjoyed year-round. Any combination of game, beef, pork, poultry and vegetables works. This recipe is just one version. Bigos also is an excellent way to use up leftover cooked meats, and for the family hunter's quota of venison. Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted dried prunes
  • 1/2 ounce dried Polish or porcini mushrooms
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon bacon drippings or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small head fresh cabbage, chopped
  • 1 pound sauerkraut, rinsed well and drained
  • 1/2 pound smoked Polish sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound cooked fresh Polish sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound leftover boneless meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup dry red wine, preferably Madeira
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Method

  1. cup pitted dried prunes1/2 ounce dried Polish or porcini mushrooms
  2. cups boiling water1 tablespoon bacon drippings or vegetable oil1 medium onion, chopped1 small head fresh cabbage, chopped1 pound sauerkraut, rinsed well and drained1/2 pound smoked Polish sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces1/2 pound cooked fresh Polish sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces1 pound leftover boneless meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
  3. large tomatoes, peeled and chopped1 cup dry red wine, preferably Madeira1 bay leaf
  4. Salt and black pepper to taste