One of the things I brought back from Poland was a jar of Bigos. Our Polish-speaking colleague said it was kind of stuffed cabbage but I wasn't really sure what to expect. Wikipedia came to the rescue and explained : "Bigos, known as a hunter's stew, is a traditional meat and cabbage stew typical of Polish, Lithuanian, Belarusian and Ukrainian cuisine, and is a Polish national dish. Typical ingredients include white cabbage, sauerkraut (kapusta kiszona in Polish), various cuts of meat and sausages, often whole or puréed tomatoes, honey and mushrooms. The meats may include pork (often smoked), ham, bacon, sausage, veal, beef, and, as bigos is considered a hunter's stew, venison, rabbit, or other game; leftover cuts find their way into the pot as well. It may be seasoned with pepper, caraway, juniper berries, bay leaf, marjoram, pimenta, dried or smoked plums, and other ingredients."
It sounds like there are endless variations on the recipe so I'm keen to have a go at making my own and seeing how it comes out. Apparently, it is often made as a "perpetual stew", on the go for a week or so with ingredients replenished as necessary, so it sounds great as a way of using up leftovers.
Here's the contents of the jar - I could mainly detect white cabbage, Polish sausage and tomatoes. It has a slight acidic vinegar taste to it, like sauerkrat.
We went for the traditional Polish accompaniment and served it with mash. The kids weren't keen but the grown-ups loved it. There are numerous recipes online if you google it, but I'll be back once I've had a play and come up with my own version !
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