Bigos: Polish Hunter Stew
Beef, pork belly, and sausage help to create Bigos, which literally means “”confusion”, “big mess” or “trouble” in Polish. This authentic Polish stew originated in Poland dating back to 1385 where it was served by Polish king Władysław Jagiełło, to all the hunter guests at his party. While there is no set recipe, (Poles, Lithuanians, Belarusians and Ukrainian all make this too!), I’ve adapted mine to be safe for me to eat. Some people add wine, others add tomato paste, but my version is perfect and satisfying, rich and hearty without those 2 ingredients. Since meeting my husband, who was born and raised in Poland, this dish has become a celebratory feast for us!
I’ve also modified my recipe to be cooked in a water bath! Before using a Sous Vide machine (the World’s Finest water bath!), I slow cooked it on the stove top for hours, but it wasn’t nearly as tender as the result from the Sous Vide machine!
I first saute the mirepoix (combination of onions, carrots and celery) in coconut oil, and then dredged (lightly coated and then shaken off) TX Bar Organics Grass Fed stew meat in arrowroot flour. After this, I browned it in coconut oil for about 5 minutes. Come on…follow me down below to learn how to make the meal that provides!
Servings: 6 to 8
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Sous Vide Bath Time: 36 hours at 140 ºF
3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon arrowroot flour
1.5 pounds TX Bar Organics Stew Meat, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 pound gluten-free, nitrite-free polish sausage (preferably homemade) sliced
1/3 pound pork belly, or 1/3 pound bacon, diced
1 pound crimini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1 cup beef stock (preferably homemade)
3 cups raw sauerkraut with juice (preferably organic and homemade)
1/4 cup dried prunes, (unsulphured, preservative-free) chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried italian herbs
1/2 teaspoon hungarian paprika
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
Warm 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large skillet. Saute onion, celery and carrots for 10 minutes, until soft and tender. Transfer to a clean plate. Dredge stew meat in flour. Best way to do this is, coat meat and place meat in colander and shake off excess flour. Add more coconut oil if needed, and brown meat for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to plate with veggies. Now saute sliced sausage and diced pork belly in skillet for 5 minutes. Transfer to plate.
Drizzle in 1 tablespoon coconut oil and saute sliced mushrooms for 10 minutes over medium low heat. Pour in stock, sauerkraut and juice, chopped prunes, along with bay leaves. Add meat, and veggies back into the skillet. Sprinkle in herbs and seasonings. Stir well. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Prepare Sous Vide Vaccum Bags. I used 2 bags approximately 6 inches each. Seal end of bags. There isn’t that much liquid remaining since it cooked out while simmering. Fill bags, vacuum, and seal other side.
Set temperature for 140 degrees and timer for 36 hours. Submerge bags. Cover. Cook. Once ready, plate and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.