About this recipe:A well-loved Polish stew, bigos is full of flavour thanks to a savoury combination of sauerkraut, Polish sausage, beef, pork, red wine and more.
1.5kg sauerkraut, rinsed if too sour, roughly chopped
1/2 handful prunes
2 to 3 bay leaves
3 to 5 allspice berries
1/2 handful dried mushrooms
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, roughly chopped
1 Polish sausage, sliced
250g beef stewing steak, diced
250g pork shoulder or veal, diced
100g bacon, diced
150ml red wine
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons tomato puree (optional)
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:2hr › Ready in:2hr20min
Place sauerkraut in a large pan or casserole dish and cover with about 1 litre of boiling water. Add prunes, bay leaves and allspice. Simmer for 50 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile, pour boiling water over the mushrooms and let soak to rehydrate, then drain and chop, reserving the liquid.
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and sausage; cook and stir till onion is soft and sausage is browned.
In a separate pan, bring about 1 litre of water to the boil. Add beef, pork and bacon. Simmer for 20 minutes, then drain.
When sauerkraut is soft, add the drained meat mixture, sausage and onions, and mushrooms; mix well. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes over low heat.
Pour in red wine and cook for a further 15 minutes. Season with caraway, marjoram, salt and pepper. Stir in tomato puree, if using. If the stew is dry, pour in water reserved from mushrooms, and simmer for a few minutes to let the flavours combine.
Enjoy straightaway, or for richer flavour continue to slow cook the stew, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally. Bigos becomes tastier the longer you cook it!
This is a very very true to form traditional recipe. You use all the ingredients that people would have been able to get in gone by years. Some add too many modern spices which would not have been used. Prunes make it special loved it - 30 Apr 2015