Saturday, January 4, 2014


Polish hunter stew (pronounced beegos) is a traditional Polish and Easter European in general prepared in winter. The recipe is pretty simple and the taste is comforting; perhaps that is the reason why it's been a staple on Polish tables since the 14th century. It is not a pretty dish - as a matter of fact, the name of it means "big mess"...
You will need:
1 fresh cabbage, julienned 
1 lb sauerkraut 
1 cup pitted prunes
1 onion, chopped
Half a bottle of red wine of your liking, I used Cabernet Sauvignon last time.
Half a jar of dark and tart jam, I used a Swedish currant jam. I find that a lot of American jams have a higher sugar content than their European counterparts, so I would search for something pretty tart, if you can.  
Kielbasa, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb cubed meat of your choice, cooked (I never add any other meat besides kielbasa but a lot of people do)
Fresh and dry mushrooms
Salt, pepper, bay leaf
Boil the julienned cabbage in some water until reduced to about a half, then add the sauerkraut. On low heat simmer for about 1.5 - 2 hours, slowly adding other ingredients. You may periodically add water if you feel like the dish will burn. Some serve it as a thick soup, some as a dry stew - it is your choice how much fluid you use. I also keep adding the wine (not to my glass, but to the dish) throughout the cooking process. There really isn't an exact order, in which ingredients need to be added. 
In the meantime, sauté the chopped onion, fresh mushrooms and kielbasa and add to the bigos. Adhere to instructions of the dry mushrooms (usually they need to be immersed in water for some time), then add to bigos. 
The longer you cook this dish the better - you really shouldn't cook it right before serving, it actually is t the best served the next day. Smacznego!

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