I never thought I would like sauerkraut, I guess there will be a lot out there with the same feeling but that had changed when I tried this dish called Bigos it worked well in this stew you won’t even realize you are eating them.
Bigos is a popular Polish stew which is usually made out cabbage and meat. Like the Burgoo it differs in preparation from region to region and from family to family. Though no set recipes for this dish the mainstay ingredients are mixed meats, white cabbage, sauerkraut, mushrooms, tomatoes and other spices. As history suggest Bigos is said to have been introduced to Poland by the Lithuanian Grand Duke Jogaila who became Polish King in 1385 when he started to regularly serve this dish to his hunting-party guests.
This eventually became Poland’s national dish and usually consumed during the winter season more specifically Second Day of Christmas so if it’s getting cold from where you are right now this is a perfect dish to serve specially when enjoyed it with Rye bread or mashed potatoes.
600g beef, cubed
200g sausages, sliced
200g smoked ham
100g bacon, chopped
300g sauerkraut, washed and drained
6-8 pcs dried mushrooms (porcini or shiitake)
8 pcs pitted prunes, chopped
2 apples, cored and cubed
1 large tomato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp allspice
3 pcs bay leaves
1 tbsp peppercorns
4-5 cups water
1. In a heavy skillet add small amount of oil then cook bacon until brown and crispy. Remove the bacon then set aside.
2. Add the beef and smoked ham then brown on all sides. Remove meat from skillet then set aside.
3. Sauté garlic and onions then deglaze with 1/2 cup of water.
4. Add the meat and bacon in the skillet then pour everything in a large pot.
5. Combine all remaining ingredients then bring it to a boil, turn heat to low then let it simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Check it regularly and add water if needed.
Note: flavour improves with time so best time to consume the stew is on its third day.