Bigos - Polish Hunter Stew is a traditional Polish dish that originated in Medieval times. Sauerkraut, Kielbasa, Wild Mushrooms, Prunes and spices are braised in red wine for hours to achieve this amazing comfort food.
Place dried mushrooms in a bowl, submerge them in water and let sit for an hour;
Rinse the sauerkraut and chop it. Place it in large pot and submerge with water, cook it for about an hour, adding water if needed so that the sauerkraut is fully covered. After fully cooked, let the water reduce by half;
In a frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a chopped onion and fry it for about 5 minutes until golden brown;
Remove the onions and set aside. Add another tablespoon of oil to the same pan, baby bella mushrooms, and season with salt & pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft and cooked through;
Remove the mushrooms and set aside. Add another tablespoon of oil to the same pan and your kielbasa. Cook until golden brown, or for about 5 minutes;
When sauerkraut is soft and the water has reduced by half, add chopped cabbage, and carrot; mix together and let cook for about 5 minutes;
Carefully remove dried mushrooms from the bowl and chop them. Be careful not to grab the dirt which inevitably fell down to the bottom of the bowl;
Into the pot with your sauerkraut, add cooked onions, mushrooms, kielbasa, red wine, tomato paste and all seasonings;
Let it cook for another half hour to an hour, mixing often until all the ingredients are well blended;
Season with salt and pepper, if needed;
It can be served immediately with bread or potatoes. Additionally, it can be reheated the next day and I suspect you'll be presently surprised at how well the nicely the dish aged!
This dish gets better the longer it cooks for and the longer it sits. It can actually taste the best on the third day after it's been reheated twice. But it can be eaten immediately. Enjoy.