Monday, November 8, 2010

Bigos (Hunter's Stew)

When my husband and his trusty dalmatian retriever, Oliver, returned from the hunt bearing venison, rabbit, squirrel and 'possum, I had to search around for a recipe to utilize their "haul".    O.K., in all honesty, neither one of them has ever hunted down any prey.  Andrew had picked up a nice kielbasa and some sauerkraut at the Krakow Deli while his trusty "partner" waited in the car.  

Bigos is considered by some to be the "national" dish of Poland.  It has almost as many recipes as there are cooks.  Some families eat from it all week with ingredients being added as necessary to keep the pot going.  The stew improves with age.


2 pounds smoked kielbasa, cut into 1-inch slices
2 large onions, sliced
1 pound sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
2 1/2 cups dry white wine
6 peppercorns
2 cloves, garlic, mashed
1 bay leaf

Cook and stir sausage over low heat in a 6-quart Dutch oven until brown, about five minutes.  You should not have to add any oil to the pan but watch carefully.

Add onions, cook and stir until soft. about 15 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients.  Heat to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until sauerkraut is tender and the flavors blend, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.   Stir occasionally.

This is even better the next day.