Bigos (Polish Style Cabbage with Tender Beef, Porcini and Chorizo)

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Bigos is a typical Polish dish. It’s a great hearty winter warmer. This recipe is a bit lighter than the traditional version of bigos and it’s not as fatty as I used stewing beef and chorizo sausage instead of fatty meat, bacon and sausage. It worked really well!

Serves: 4-6

Note: You will need either one very large pot or two medium ones. This dish is best served after 3 days and it can be stored in jars in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

250g stewing/casserole beef, cut into 1cm cubes

200g chorizo sausage, sliced

500g white cabbage

500g sauerkraut (I used Sainsbury’s German sauerkraut in white wine)

25 dried porcini mushrooms

2 small onions, finely diced

150g dried prunes, halved

1 tsp plum jam

2 plum tomatoes from can

1 small apple, peeled and grated

200ml red wine

2tbsp light soy sauce

2 bay leaves

3 allspice peppercorns

1/2 tsp caraway seeds

3 juniper berries (it’s great with them but you can do it without if you can’t find them)

1. Place the porcini mushrooms in bowl and in a 300ml of boiled water. Place the halved prunes in a bowl and soak in red wine.

2. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Fry the beef cubes until browned then transfer to a very large pot. Pour 250ml of water and 2 tbsp of soy sauce into the pot. Bring to boil and simmer the beef in soy water for about 45 minutes. If necessary add more water.

3. While the beef is cooking, finely dice the onion.

4. Place the sauerkraut in a sieve and clean with cold water, pressing down the sauerkraut with your fingers.

5. Peel off the outer leaves of the white cabbage and half the cabbage. Cut out and remove the core of the cabbage then slice it into thin strips -> like this.

6. Heat the pan once again. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and butter. Add the onions, allspice, bay leaves, caraway seeds and juniper berries to the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, stir well and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the sauerkraut to the pan and fry over high heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 3/4 cup of water to the pan and bring to boil.

7. Add the white cabbage to the pot with beef. Stir well, add more water if necessary and boil for 5 minutes until cabbage softens. Then add the ingredients from the pan to the pot and mix everything. Note: If you can see at this stage that everything feel not fit in one pot, don’t hesitate to split everything between 2 pots.

8. Add the porcini mushrooms and the remaining liquid to the pot. Add the prunes and red wine. Season well with salt and pepper and bring to boil. Add the plum jam and grated apple. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer over very low heat for 2 hours. After 1 hour fry the sliced chorizo and add to the pot with all the oil.

9. Once bigos is cooked check whether it needs to be seasoned with extra salt and pepper. Place it in the fridge overnight and reheat the next day. Tastes best after 3 days but if you can’t help it you can have it the same day… You’ll have plenty of leftover which can be safely served throughout the week.

Enjoy!

Recipe inspired by Kwestia Smaku

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