When the chill of winter nips at your nose, there’s nothing more inviting than the warm aroma of a stew bubbling away on the stove. Enter Bigos, the quintessential Polish hunter’s stew. This dish promises a culinary journey, transporting you straight to the heart of Polish culinary traditions.
- A medieval concoction, the Bigos stands out due to its rich meat content and spices.
- It offers a perfect blend of tender pork, smoky kielbasa, tangy sauerkraut, and aromatic spices.
- Ideal for those who crave comfort and warmth from their meals during colder months.
- Olive oil: 2 tbsp
- Pork stew meat: 1 lb
- Salt: ½ tsp & Black pepper: ¼ tsp
- Kielbasa link (sliced): 14 oz
- Garlic cloves (minced): 4
- Diced veggies: Onion (½ cup), Carrots (½ cup), Celery (½ cup)
- Prunes (diced): 4
- Dried porcini mushrooms (reconstituted & diced): ¼ cup
- Seasonings: Allspice (¼ tsp) & Caraway seeds (½ tsp)
- Diced tomatoes: 15 oz
- Tomato paste: 1 tbsp
- Sauerkraut (drained): 2 cups
- Chopped cabbage: 2 cups
- Bay leaves: 3
- Pumpernickel bread (for serving): 6-8 slices
- Salted butter (for serving): ¼ cup
- Meat Searing: Use a Dutch oven or pot to heat olive oil. Dry and season the pork, then sear it till browned. Place it aside.
- Kielbasa Cooking: Brown the kielbasa slices and set them aside with the pork.
- Veggie Sauté: Combine and sauté garlic, veggies, prunes, and mushrooms till they’re tender-crisp. Introduce the seasonings, then add the tomatoes and tomato paste, letting it simmer.
- Combine & Cook: Once simmering, integrate the sauerkraut, cabbage, and bay leaves. Allow it to simmer for about 1.5 hours until the pork turns fork-tender.
- Serve & Enjoy: Divide the stew among bowls and accompany with pumpernickel bread and butter. Relish the warmth and comfort!
Nutritional Information (per serving):
- Calories: 507
- Total Fat: 34.6g
- Saturated Fat: 13.2g
- Cholesterol: 111.6mg
- Carbs: 24.0g
- Dietary Fiber: 6.1g
- Sugars: 6.4g
- Sodium: 973.3mg
- Protein: 27.9g
The beauty of Bigos lies in its versatility. It’s equally comforting whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply looking to warm up on a chilly evening. The succulence of the pork, the smokiness of the kielbasa, the tanginess of the sauerkraut, and the depth of the spices culminate into a symphony of flavors. And as with most stews, the taste deepens, making the leftovers the next day even more delightful! Whether you’re of Polish descent or just a food enthusiast, this Bigos recipe is a must-try. So, roll up your sleeves, prepare this hearty stew, and let every spoonful warm your heart and soul!