Bigos- Mishmash to do

Bigos is another traditional polish recipe, which now is made usualy for Christmas (two versions- one with wild mushrooms, the other is with meat of all kinds- pork and beef), which in very loose translation means nothing more than mishmash- meaning you can throw in nearly everything to this dish and it's still good.

I told my husband it's a family tradition the man makes the bigos for Christmas. But I lied. It's no tradition, I just wanted him to do something for the holidays :) I hope he reads this :P
EDIT : he did read this, and then he took away my glass of champagne.... :P
It's a heav dish, more popular for autumn and winter, and traditionally, bigos was made, by cooking it for days, if not weeks. The best was supposed to be the one made in autumn, kept in the snow for a few moths, then reheated again for occasions.
There are also two schools of making bigos- with or without tomatoes. Originaly there were no tomatoes, but try making this with and without and decide which taste is yours (mine is definitely with tomatoes).

Type of dish: main
Cost: cheap to medium
Serves: a lot of people
Difficulty: easy
Time: from 2h to 3 weeks
Prep time: 30 min

You'll need:
a cutting board, a sharp knife, a spatula, a large frying pan,  a large and deep saucepan with lid, small bowl

Ingredients: (for the meat bigos, for the vegetarian, just go without the meat)
  • 1kg sauerkraut (taste it- if very salty, drain with water few times)
  • 1kg mixed meat (pork, beef- sausages, kabanos, cured bacon, cold meat or cooked meat -from soups)
  • 1 handfull prunes or plum jam
  • 5 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 handfull dried wild mushrooms
  • 1/2 litre water

In the small bowl, put in the ddried mushrooms and cover with 1/2 litre boiling water. Set aside. Wash the sauerkraut and put in the saucepan. Add the prunes, and tomato paste. When the mushrooms regain some of their size, squeeze out the water from them, and chop them up roughly, and add them to the pot. Cut up the meat, and fry it up on medium high heat to brown it. Add with the fat from the meat to the large pot. Pour in the liquid from the mushrooms and put on the stove, on medium heat with the lid on. Mix every 45 minutes to make sure the bottom doesn't burn. Cook for 2-3 h, or if you like the traditional way, cook every 7 days, keeping the pot in the snow or your freezer.
And thats it!
Just try the bigos during cooking to check if it needs more sugar or tomatoes.

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