Winter gettin you down? No sweat (it’s too cold anyway), lift your spirits with some Polish Hunter Stew!
I still remember the first time I had this radiant stew years ago at an unassuming New Jersey catering spot. With loads of vegetables, the slight tang of sauerkraut, smokiness of kielbasa, spiciness of cayenne pepper, this Polish national dish (Bigos) is anything but forgettable.
Far from being a “quick” dish, this stew is a great alternative to your traditional stew and is worth the extra TLC. What’s more? It freezes well, keeps well, AND it tastes even better by days 2 and 3! BOOYAH!
- 2 thick slices hickory-smoked bacon
- 1 pound kielbasa sausage, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 pound cubed beef stew meat
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
- 4 cups shredded cabbage (green or napa,both ok)
- 1 (16 ounce) jar sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon caraway seed, crushed
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms (ok to skip)
- 1 dash bottled hot pepper sauce
- 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
- 5 cups beef stock
- 2 tablespoons canned tomato paste
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and kielbasa; cook and stir until the bacon has rendered its fat and sausage is lightly browned. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat and transfer to a large casserole or Dutch oven.
2. Add the garlic and onion in the pot, sautee until golden (approximately 3 minutes), then add carrots, fresh mushrooms, cabbage and sauerkraut. Reduce heat to medium; cook and stir until the carrots are soft, about 10 minutes. Do not let the vegetables brown.
3. Deglaze the pan by pouring in the red wine and stirring to loosen all of the bits of food and flour that are stuck to the bottom. Season with the bay leaf, basil, marjoram, paprika, salt, pepper, caraway seeds and cayenne pepper; cook for 1 minute.
4. If you have them, mix in the dried mushrooms, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, beef stock, tomato paste and tomatoes. Heat through just until boiling. Pour the vegetables and all of the liquid into the casserole dish with the meat. Cover with a lid.
5. Cook on low to medium heat for at least 1 hour or until meat is very tender.
Credit goes to All Recipes with my notes and modifications