National dish of Poland

flag of Poland

  • Independence:  13. 9. 1989
  • Capital: Warsaw
  • Official language: Polish
  • Population: 38 501 000
  • Area: 312 685 km2
  • International code: PL
  • Currency: Złoty (PLN)
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Bigos

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup dried mushrooms
  • 1 cup stoned prunes
  • 8 oz lean boneless pork loin
  • 8 oz lean boneless venison
  • 8 oz chuck steak
  • 8 oz kielbasa (substitute with other sausage of your choice if you can’t find kielbasa)
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp dry Madeira
  • 2 lb can sauerkraut, rinsed
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves
  • 2-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp dill seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bigos is national food (dish) of Poland

Instructions:

Pour boiling water to completely cover the dried mushrooms and prunes in a bowl. Leave for 30 minutes, then drain well. Cut the pork, venison, chuck steak and kielbasa sausage into 1-inch cubes, then toss together in the flour. Gently fry the onions in the oil for 10 minutes. Remove. Brown the eat in the pan in several batches, for about 5 minutes, or until well browned; remove and set aside. Add the Madeira and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Return the meat to the pan with the onion, sauerkraut, tomatoes, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, dill seeds, mushrooms and prunes. Pour in the stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently for about 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Uncover the lid for the last 20 minutes to let the liquid evaporate, as the stew should be more at the thick side. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve immediately with boiled potatoes or bread.

Info:

Bigos, known as a Hunter's Stew, is a traditional meat stew typical of Polish, Lithuanian, Belarusians and Ukrainian cuisine, considered to be the Polish and Ukrainian national dish. There is no single recipe for a savoury stew of cabbage and meat, as recipes vary from region to region and from family to family. 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 real hunters' stew, venison 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.

Bigos is usually eaten with mashed potatoes or rye bread. As with many stews, bigos can be kept in a cool place or refrigerated and then reheated later – it is said that its flavour actually intensifies when reheated. One observed tradition is to keep a pot of bigos going for a week or more, replenishing ingredients as necessary (cf. perpetual stew). This, the seasonal availability of cabbage and its richness in vitamin C made bigos a traditional part of the winter diet in Poland and elsewhere. It is a popular dish in Poland to be served on the Second Day of Christmas.

 
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