Bigos is often called Poland’s national dish. It is Poland’s sweet and sour dish using sweet (fresh) cabbage and sour(fermented) cabbage (sauerkraut).
This is a smaller, quicker version than the traditional bigos recipe.
I often make it somewhere in between the traditional recipe and this quick recipe as all the amount are very flexible.
If you can only get large jars of sauerkraut then you can put half the contents into a plastic bag or box and freeze it for later use.
500g sauerkraut (1 small tin or jar or half a large jar)
300g fresh white cabbage – 1 small head or half a large head
100g of Frankfurters or Polish Ring
100g smoked bacon
1 large onion
100g tomato purée (1/2 tube)
20g plain flour
2 bay leaves
3 to 4 peppercorns
sugar or lemon juice to taste – optional
fat/oil to fry in
note – salt should not be needed as the sausage and bacon contain salt.
Finely chop the fresh cabbage into long strands and place in a large pan with the sauerkraut.
In a jug mix the tomato purée with some hot water and then add this to the pan. Add more boiling water to cover the cabbage mixture.
Add the bay leaves and peppercorns and then boil gently till the cabbage is becoming soft.
Slice up the various smoked sausages, chop the bacon into small squares and add to the cabbage mixture and boil gently till everything is soft.
Chop the onion into small pieces and fry till golden, add the flour and fry till the mixture is just about to burn and then add this mixture to the bigos.
Adjust the sourness to taste with sugar and or lemon juice.
Now you can either heat it all together gently over a low heat with a lid on the pan, stirring the mixture occasionally or put the mixture into a large oven proof dish (I use an enamelled dish) with a lid and put it in the oven at GM 4 – 180oC for about 2 hours.
Bigos tastes better if made one day, left overnight, and then reheated in a saucepan or in a dish in the oven.
Bigos freezes well – I portion it up into manageable portions which will serve 2 or 3 – wrapping it in plastic bags within a plastic box to prevent the tomato staining the plastic.
Bigos is usually served with rye bread but I often serve it with boiled or mashed potatoes.