3 Polish Hunter’s Stew: bigos


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It might not look awesome but believe me – tastes great!
Bigos is one of the most traditional Polish dishes, sometimes even called the Polish national dish. There is no single recipe to make bigos, recipes vary from region to region and from family to family. Traditionally, it’s supposed to be made over 4 days but nowadays you can make it in few hours.

Let’s get started then!

INGREDIENTS: 

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1kg Sauerkraut
1/2 kg cabbage
400g meat: you can use beef or pork, you shouldn’t use chicken
400g sausage&ham
50g dried mushrooms
2 onions
salt, black pepper, sugar
marjoram
rosemary
3-4 laurel leaves
pimento
cumin (optional)
tomato puree

To be precise: it’s impossible to get some of those ingredients in Japan (dried mushrooms, for example), that’s why my bigos is not as rich as it supposed to be. ごめんね ^^

HOW TO MAKE?

1. One day before cooking, soak the mushrooms in water.

2. Day of cooking: boil the mushrooms (in the same water they were soaked)

3. Cutting: 

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Cut the sauerkraut finely; chop the cabbage theb pour some hot water over it and squeeze. Chop the onions.

4. Pour about one glass of water into the pot and add sauerkraut and cabbage. Simmer for a while.

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5. Strain the mushrooms and cut into strips.

6. Cut the meat into small pieces. Again: you can use almost all kinds of meat, although theoretically you shouldn’t use cooked chicken meat.

7. Fry the meat, all together. If you use raw meat, fry it first and after add the bacon, sausage or ham – whatever you want to add.

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8. Fry chopped onion until golden brown.

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9. Add fried meat, fried chopped onion and cut mushrooms into the pot with the cabbage.

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10. Add all spices and herbs. About salt, sugar and black pepper: I usually add about 3 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. But you can add as much as you like.

11. Add tomato puree. And again, I usually add one small jar of puree (about 90g) but you can add more if you like.

12. Simmer for a little while longer.

Done! SMACZNEGO!

PS: As I mentioned before, bigos should be cooked for 4 days: the older the beter. It tastes the best one or two days after cooking. In Poland we usually cook a huge pot of bigos so we can eat it for a few days. We serve bigos with bread but sometimes we eat it with mashed potatoes and a pork cutlet coated with breadcrumbs. Believe me, it’s a nice idea for a dinner (especially if you have some bigos left and don’t want to eat it with bread anymore^^).

Since tensai is constantly hungry, I served bigos with potatoes and cutlet . He was finally full, can you imagine? 😉

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aho&tensai

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6 Comments

  1. I wondered how it’s made. I’ve only tasted it once and didn’t like it much, but as you say, it could vary enormously. I’m going to Poland again at the end of April so I’ll try it again if the opportunity arises.

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