Here is my sister's unconventional but tasty take on the Polish classic.
My version of the Polish national dish. There are many recipes for this traditional stew and mine is often added to and changed but this is my basic recipe.
This recipe couldn't be much easier. The hardest bit is chopping the cabbage and waiting for it to cook! Also it always tastes better the next day.....and the day after. Our dad said he could make a pot of bigos last all week adding different ingredients each day and it only improved its flavour. So here we go......delicious and economical bigos.
1 large jar sauerkraut
1 white cabbage
1 garlic clove
1 tsp juniper berries
1 tsp paprika (I like smoked but any will do)
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tbs tomato purée
1 sprig rosemary
2-3 bay leaves
250ml red/white wine
200g smoked meat sausages*
(I use Polish smoked kielbasa/kabanos but any smoked sausage/pork would work well - e.g. chorizo)
200g pork (belly, shoulder or ribs would work well or any leftover cooked roast pork)
200g mushrooms (mixture of dried/fresh)
Water if needed
Black pepper to taste
* the meat can be omitted for a vegetarian option.
- Chop cabbage and onion add to pan with all other ingredients.
- Bring to boil then simmer until cabbage is tender and cooked down. Cook for a minimum of 2-3 hours on the hob or 6 in a slow cooker. However the longer the better - I often cook on a low heat in a slow cooker for 12 hours.
- Add water if it looks like its drying out - but the veg usually creates its own cooking liquid with the beer and wine.
- This is lovely with potatoes or bread and butter. Smaznego! (as they say in Poland).