Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I can do better...

On a recent road trip, I ate a bowl of bigos in a Polish restaurant in Creston, B.C. It's a traditional meat and sauerkraut stew translated to English as Hunter's Stew. To tell you the truth, it was rather mediocre. But I liked the concept and decided I could do better. When I got home, I made this version...

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 loose cup dried mushrooms (porcini and chanterelle)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 lb back bacon, cut in strips
4 cooked farmer's sausages, sliced
10 frozen tomatoes, thawed
1/2 medium cabbage head, shaved
1/2 lb sauerkraut

Pour the boiling water over the mushrooms. When the mushrooms are soft, pour off and save the water.

Heat the oil in a stew pot. Cook the onions and garlic until soft. Stir in the paprika, salt and pepper. Add the back bacon and garlic. When the bacon and onions are fully cooked, add the sausage, tomatoes, cabbage, sauerkraut, mushrooms and mushroom water. Add enough cold water to just about cover the contents of the pot. Place the lid and simmer for several hours, until the cabbage is meltingly cooked.

Like all soups and stews, bigos gets better every time you cool and reheat it, so plan to eat it over a few days.

1 comment:

Grazyna said...

Hello, Amy Jo :-)
I was very excited seeing your bigos receipe in today's Star Phoenix.
You even mentiond serving it with a chilled vodka, which we always did in my family home after coming back from Midnight Mass on Christmas Day :-)
And you're right - each cook has her/his own receipe and secrets (for example I like to add red wine at the end of cooking :-) ).
My Polish soul wouldn't let me add pearl barley to it, but if you like it - why not? :-)
Greetings :-)