From Julie Van Rosendaal
My friend Elizabeth Chorney-Booth traveled to Poland and came home with this fantastic recipe for bigos – a classic, hearty Polish stew made with a double whammy of cabbage and sauerkraut.
4-6 thick slices bacon, chopped
1 lb. kielbasa sausage, sliced
1/4 c. flour
1 lb. country-style pork chops, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 c. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
1 lb. (about 3 c.) sauerkraut, drained
1/2 c. dry red wine
1 T. paprika
1 t. marjoram
1/2 t. caraway seed
2-3 c. chicken stock
1 c. diced tomatoes, canned or fresh
2 T. tomato paste
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
Set a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the bacon. Cook until it starts to render its fat, then add the kielbasa and cook until the fat is rendered and everything is starting to turn golden on the edges. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl, leaving the drippings in the pan.
As the meat cooks, put the flour into a shallow dish and dredge the pork cubes in it, then brown in the bacon fat in the Dutch oven. Transfer to the bowl with the bacon and sausage. Add another drizzle of oil if you need it, and sauté the garlic and onion until they begin to soften and turn golden on the edges. Add the carrots, mushrooms, cabbage and sauerkraut, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the carrots have softened.
Add the wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the paprika, marjoram and caraway seed and cook for another minute, then add 2 cups of the chicken stock, the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and bay leaf. Stir in the reserved meat. Cover and simmer on low for 2-3 hours, until the meat is very tender. If the sauce starts to look too thick, add more stock. Remove the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and serve on its own with a toothsome, crusty bread or over noodles. Serves 8.