Poland's National Dish
Bigos is Poland's (and probably Ukraine's) national dish. Bigos was in times past eaten only by the Polish aristocracy as they were the only Poles who had access to game and could afford to include so much meat in a dish. Traditionally it would have included more game such as wild boar, pheasant, or venison, but nowadays is most often made with pork. If you have access to wild boar this makes a great substitute for the pork. Oddly enough, Bigos is one of those handy recipes which gets better the more it's reheated. So make up a huge pot and eat it for a whole week! Alternatively as it freezes well, divide it into small meal sized portions and put them in your freezer.
Adam Mickiewicz - Pan Tadeusz (1834)
Here is a recipe for one rather tasty variation of Polish Bigos (Hunter's Stew):
1). Chop the bacon into ¼ inch pieces, cook until crisp, remove from the fat, and set aside.
2). Cut the pork or wild boar meat into small cubes, add to the fat in the pan, and brown the meat lightly.
3). Mix in the onion and cook it until it is tender. Cover the meat with hot water and simmer, covered, until it is well done.
4). Add the garlic, apples, prunes, Borowik mushrooms, vegetables, and tomatoes and continue cooking for about 5-10 minutes.
5). Combine the sauerkraut with the meat along with sausages and the reserved bacon. Add the red wine and stock. Mix these ingredients together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, uncovered, until the sauerkraut is tender and the bigos is of the consistency you prefer. Serve with crusty white bread or if you prefer traditional Polish bread.
If you look closely at the photograph of a plate of Bigos above, you'll see that it includes potatoes, a larger than usual portion of tomatoes, and even a baby sweetcorn or two. Recipes for bigos vary enormously from family to family and region to region. This particular recipe comes from the Lubuskie region in the far west of Poland. We urge you to try the dish yourself. And feel free to experiment with the ingredients. We are sure that you won't be disappointed!
More Polish recipes.
Comment on Bigos - probably Poland's national dish!
Add your own comment and opinion about Polish Bigos (Hunters' Stew) to this page.
Useful Polish Links:
Copyright © 2004 PolandPoland.com