Ingredients for eight medium-sized portions of traditional bigos (Hunter’s Stew) with addition of red wine
- 2 kg of sauerkraut
- 3 large onions (or four medium)
- 1 ordinary sausage
- 250 g boneless beef
- 250 g veal (or pork shoulder)
- 100 g bacon
- 1 handful of dried mushrooms
- 1 handful of dried plums
- 2-4 bay leaves
- 3-5 grains allspice
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons marjoram
- salt and pepper (at your choice)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
- 150 ml red wine (optional)
The cabbage from the sauerkraut, if it is very acidic, flush under running water,but keep the excess juice (in a separate container – do not pour, may be needed), then chop. Then put into a large pot and pour boiling water adding the prunes, bay leaves and allspice and two tablespoons of oil. Cook until softened, over low heat for about an hour.
In the meantime, pour the boiling water over the dried mushrooms in a small pot, we leave it to soften (if needed at the end). Do not pour away the water as it may be needed if the stew/bigos is too dry.
Cut the onions into small cubes, fry until a golden colour.
In a separate pot, boil a litre of water to which we add the beef, veal (or paddle) and bacon of you’re your choice – it’s what we like to find the most in bigos.Cook for about half an hour, then drain off the meat and let the meat cool down before cutting into small cubes.
When the cabbage is already soft, add the drained meat and cut mushrooms, meat, onions and sliced sausage. Cook over low heat, uncovered, for 30 minutes. If there is too much water, we cast.
Season with marjoram, cumin, salt and pepper. Add the tomato puree (optional) and heat up well together, stirring gently. If the stew is too dry, add the water from the mushrooms.
If we add the red wine (optional), then cook for an additional 15 minutes.
If you want the stew tastier, you can still simmer over low heat, covered, for an hour. However, you should keep an eye from time to time to check if it is not too dry using the water from the mushrooms.
Enjoy your meal! Smacznego!
Photo © Mariusz Soltanifar