Bigos is Polish Hunter's Stew. There are some similarities to French choucroute, in fact that's what I had on the menu for dinner one night when I realized I also had everything to try out something new. And this was the perfect dish to slow cook and enjoy on a drizzly, cold, evening.
This is a great recipe to will accommodate anything you have in the fridge to use up. Ham or a ham bone leftover after a Sunday or Holiday dinner, extra sausage or just about any type, any sort of stew meat, it can all go in a pot of bigos. The tomatoes, canned are fairly standard, but what I had was a fresh tomato looking a little wrinkly that needed to be used up, either is really fine. Just make sure and have a loaf of rye bread to soak all the juices up with.
2 lb. boneless country style pork ribs
1 lb. kielbasa, sliced
2 Tbsp. bacon drippings
2 Tbsp. oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1/4 large head cabbage, cut in ribbons
1 (32 oz.) jar sauerkraut
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 small apple, peeled and grated
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 c. chicken broth or water
1/2 tsp. caraway
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 bay leaves
5 allspice berries
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Salt to taste
Cut the pork ribs in to large cubes, about 3-4 cubes per rib.
Place the sauerkraut in a colander and rinse really well. Leave to drain while you continue with the recipe.
Heat the bacon drippings and oil in a large past iron pot. Add the pork to the pot in three batches, not too many, you don't want to crowd the pan. Lightly salt and brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and keep warm while you cook the remaining meat.
In the same pan, once the pork has been cooked and removed, add the onion and saute for a few minutes until tender. Add the tomato paste and cook for another minute or two and then add the chopped tomatoes and keep cooking to reduce slightly.
Add the cabbage, apples, caraway, paprika, and pepper. Keep cooking until the cabbage is starting to cook. Add the sauerkraut and keep sauteing. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring to combine. Add the sliced kielbasa, browned pork, bay leaves, and allspice.
Cover with broth and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and place in the oven. Cook for 2 hours.
Remove from the oven and serve with rye bread.