Hunter's Stew (Bigos)
3 lbs sauerkraut
2 lbs ham with bone, pork spareribs or pork rib roast
2 bay leaves
1 oz dried mushrooms, chopped
20 black peppercorns
10 allspice berries
1/2 tsp salt
11 cups beef broth, bouillon or water
2 lbs green cabbage, chopped like sauerkraut
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 lb Polish smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 lb Polish white sausage with garlic, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 lb bacon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Rinse sauerkraut with cold water; drain well. In a large stockpot,
combine sauerkraut, ham or pork, bay leaves, mushrooms, peppercorns,
allspice and salt. Add 6 cups broth, bouillon or water. Cook,
uncovered, 15 minutes over medium heat. Cover and simmer over low
heat 45 minutes. Remove meat. Let meat cool. Place cabbage in
a large saucepan. Add remaining 5 cups broth, bouillon or water.
Bring to boil. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, 1 hour or until
cabbage is tender. Add to sauerkraut mixture. Bone cooked meat.
Cut cooked meat into 1/2-inch cubes. Melt butter or margarine in
a large skillet. Add cooked meat, smoked sausage and white sausage.
Saute over medium heat 10 minutes or until browned. Add to sauerkraut
mixture. In same skillet, saute bacon over medium heat until crisp.
Drain bacon on paper towels. Add to sauerkraut mixture. Cover;
cook over low heat 1 hour or longer. Remove and discard bay leaves.
Serve hot. Makes 12 to 14 servings.
Use only meat with large bones, so bones can be removed easily.
The secret of old-time Bigos is that it gets better as it's reheated
on successive days, peaking at the 6th or 7th day. In between,
store covered in the refrigerator.