Bigos is a Polish stew usually called “Hunter’s stew” in English. It is made from assorted meats, (usually including kielbasa) sauerkraut and cabbage. It is the national dish of Poland so everybody has their own way of making it. After consulting many different recipes, and making a trip to the Polish shop, I now have some bubbling away in my big crock pot.

What I am making today has pork shoulder, cherry wood smoked kielbasa, and smoked ribs in it for meat. It also has fresh button mushrooms, dried bay boletus mushrooms, cabbage, sauerkraut with mushrooms, and prunes. Apparently mushrooms and dried fruit are tradition because they are forest products, and it goes with the whole hunters thing. Some people add tomatoes, but that’s not what they do in the Warsaw area where Mr Ivrinel’s family is from, so I left that out. I also added lots of carroway, which is supposed to reduce the windiness of all that cabbage.

Out of all the recipes I consulted, the one from “The Cuisine of the King’s of Poland in Malbork Castle” was the most insane. 2kg of cabbage, 2 kg of sauerkraut, 3 kg of assorted meats, 300 g each of prunes and apples, and 100 g of dried mushrooms (I got a 20 gram package yesterday and used half of it, for comparison sake). They don’t say how many that is supposed to feed.

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Anybody else cooking something yummy today?