Bigos

Ingredients

  • 1 oz dried porcini (or other wild mushrooms)
  • 1 lb bacon, cut into 1" cubes (double-smoked is best)
  • 1 ½ lb kielbasa sausage, sliced on a diagonal ½" thick
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ cup tomato paste (double concentrated is best)
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper (more or less, depending on your tolerance for heat)
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 small head of green cabbage, (about 2 lb.) cored, thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots peeled, sliced 1 ½" thick
  • 1 red apple, cored, and grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 lb sauerkraut (not drained; about 2 cups)
  • 5-6 cups beef stock (homemade is best)
  • Small dill sprigs, dark rye or pumpernickel bread, and unsalted butter (for serving)
  • 1-2 Tbsp mustard or horseradish (optional)

Instructions

  • Pour hot tap water over the dried mushrooms and submerge them for 20-40 minutes, or until soft.
  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring often until it's brown and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a small bowl and set aside
  • Drain all, but a very small amount of the bacon fat.
  • Add the kielbasa the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown (~ 10 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • In the same pot, reduce heat to low, add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until it's just beginning to turn golden brown ( ~ a minute)
  • Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until paste darkens slightly and is beginning to stick to pot (~ 2 minutes)
  • Add the spices and cook, stirring constantly, just until fragrant ( ~30 seconds)
  • Add onions and turn to coat them with the spicy tomato paste
  • Add the wine and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pot, until the smell of the alcohol cooks off (~ 3 minutes)
  • Add the salt, stock, cabbage, carrots, apple, potatoes, sauerkraut, mushrooms, and bacon. Bring to a simmer.
  • Cover, reduce heat, and simmer gently, stirring well halfway through after an hour
  • Add the reserved kielbasa.
  • Cover and cook until the bacon is tender, cabbage is meltingly soft, and potatoes are cooked through (~ 30–60 minutes)
  • Divide stew among bowls. Add mustard or horseradish if you'd like a little kick. Top with dill. Serve with bread and butter alongside.