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HUNTER'S STEW (Bigos)

Before winter, Gosia Malicka, a student from Silesia, Poland, tells Anne Parsons that her family and friends pick mushrooms in the forest, dry them at home by hanging them from threads, and then store them in paper bags. If you use dried mushrooms, you will need to soak the mushrooms in hot water before cooking. This sauerkraut stew, the national dish of Poland, has variations that are almost infinite. It would be an ideal candidate for the slow cooker. Usually, people serve this stew with sour cream as a garnish, rye bread on the side, and plenty of dark, robust beer as the beverage. Boiled carrots and a green salad as accompaniments complement the dark stew. Note that this dish tastes better the next day.
Serves 6.


Ingredients

• 1 1/2 to 2 cups beef stock plus more as needed
• 1 pound sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
• 1/2 head cabbage, finely shredded
• 6 large mushrooms, preferably porcini, chopped
• 1 pound smoked kielbasa sausage, sliced and fried
• 3 cups cubed pork
• 1/2 pound bacon, cut into small bits
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and cubed
• 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
• 12 peppercorns
• 12 allspice berries, or 1 teaspoon ground allspice
• 1 bay leaf


Directions
Heat the stock in a large saucepan over medium heat, and add the remaining ingredients.

Reduce the heat to low, and cook for 3 to 4 hours, adding more stock as needed, or until all the flavors have blended.

Serve hot.
 

 

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