Bigos, or traditional Polish Hunter's Stew, is one of those homey recipes that changes from home to home. In fact, in From A Polish Country House Kitchen, Anne Applebaum and Danielle Crittenden describe the stew as Poland's version of chili—long stewed meat with a suggestion of vegetable served with thick rustic bread. Their take blends pork, venison, beef, veal, and sausage with cabbage, sauerkraut, and mushrooms for a no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners, hearty meal for the meatiest of meat lovers. In other words, it's an awesome addition to your late winter repertoire.
Why I picked this recipe: I have never simmered sauerkraut in a meat stew, and what better way to try it than the meatiest of meat stews?
What worked: The tanginess of the sauerkraut and sweetness of the prunes marries effortlessly with the tender meats.
What didn't: No problems here.
Suggested tweaks: The choice in meat is truly up to you. Don't feel comfortable cooking veal? Use pork. Can't find venison? Substitute any slightly gamey meat, like lamb.
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