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Slice and brown the best smoked Kielbasa you can find. A good one
usually has a coarse grind. Set it aside and brown an onion and
some garlic in the leftover grease. Put all this in a large heavy
8 quart or so pot. Slice up a head of cabbage and put in in the
pot. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 as much sauerkraut as cabbage, depending
on how sour you like it. Make sure that you use real sauerkraut
not the vinegar stuff. Ideally, the ingredients should be white
cabbage and salt. Period. The stuff made with vinegar in a can will
ruin the flavor.

The hard part is the mushrooms. The preferred ones are called
"borowiki" and are very hard to find unless you have a connection
in Poland. Try to find brown, dried mushrooms that are available
in your area. Put at least 10 dried caps in 2 cups water and cook
on very low heat for about an hour. The water should become dark
brown like tea. Fish out the mushrooms and slice into strips. Filter
the water thru a coffee filter into the pot to remove the spores.
Add the sliced 'shrooms. Add about a tablespoon of caraway seed
and 2 or 3 bay leaves. Stir and then cook for several hours. It
gets its flavor from the long simmering of rather simple ingredients.
Traditionally, this cooks for 3 days before eating, but I can't
wait that long. Add salt and pepper to taste towards the end.
Wonderful winter food.

Serve with real Jewish rye bread (you know, the sourdough stuff
that's dense as a rock with crust the consistency of beef jerky.
Yum.) I usually add other meat as well, leftover barbecue (smoked,
no sauce) works great. This is great to make in a crock pot. Start
it Sunday, ignore it until dinner Monday.


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