Monday, September 24, 2012

Bigos (Hunter's Stew) - Lightened-Up



My friend from Poland, Gosia, gave me her recipe for Polish Bigos, or Hunter's Stew.  She promised to make it very soon and send me pictures.  In return, I told her I would make my version -- changing her recipe up a bit to go along with my "JFC" lightened-up guidelines.  I cannot wait to see Gosia's version.  I promise I will post Gosia's recipe as the "Authentic Polish Bigos."

This makes enough food for a crowd.  All you need is a loaf of crusty bread, a little butter for the bread, and spicy mustard.

And as Gosia will tell you, Bigos is even better the next day.  You will definitely love the leftovers!

Oh, and I made this in the slow cooker!

Ingredients:

1 cup porcini mushrooms (dried/reconstituted)*
1 1/4 lb. boneless country pork ribs
1 1/2 lb. beef back ribs, bone in
Fine sea salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
2 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
3 tbs. olive oil, divided
1 Pumpkin Ale (12 oz) or 12 ounces cold water with 1 tsp. pumpkin pie seasoning
1 lb. sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
1/2 medium head cabbage, chopped
1 cup apple juice
1 tbs. horseradish mustard
2 dried bay leaves
14 oz. turkey kielbasa, cut into bite sized rounds
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, no salt added, do NOT drain
1 medium onion, sliced
Fresh thyme (optional)
1 tbs. butter
2 slices bacon,  cut into 1/2 inch pieces


Directions:





*The day before you plan to make the bigos, add the dried porcini mushrooms to a bowl.  Cover with water.  I like to add a little sea salt and garlic powder to the water but that is entirely optional.  Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours (at least).

When you are ready to make the bigos:

Preheat your slow cooker to high.   Season the pork and beef ribs with salt, pepper and 1/2 of the garlic powder. 

Bring two tablespoons of the olive oil to a smoking point in a skillet.  Add the pork ribs first and then the beef ribs, in batches, browning on all sides. 




Add browned ribs to warm slow cooker.  Add the pumpkin ale or water with seasoning.  Cover and cook on high for one hour.




Mix the kraut and cabbage together.  Mix the apple juice and mustard together.  Pour the apple juice and mustard over the kraut and cabbage and combine.  Pour this over the meat in the slow cooker.  Add the remaining garlic powder and lots of salt and pepper (to taste).  Add the bay leaves.  Cover and continue to cook for 90 minutes on high.


 

Reduce slow cooker heat to low.  Add the kielbasa and the canned tomatoes and juice.  Cover and cook for about four hours.  Turn slow cooker to warm.  In a medium skillet, add the remaining olive oil, the onion and the mushrooms (drained).  Add the butter and the thyme.  Cook for about five minutes. 

Add the sliced bacon with the onions and mushrooms.  Continue to cook for about five more minutes until the bacon is crisped.  

Add the onions, mushrooms and bacon to the bigos. 




Enjoy... and I know you will.

Adult beverage suggestion: I call this drink Apple Rum:   2 shots of white over ice, topped with apple juice.  Also great with a seaonal Oktoberfest or Pumpkin beer.  That and the bigos will get you toasty warm on a cold, rainy fall day!

If you like this recipe, you will enjoy the recipe I posted the other night:  http://welcometojustforcooking.blogspot.com/2012/09/roasted-pork-with-mushroom-sauce-kraut.html

Happy Autumn, everyone!
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