Bigos is an Eastern European stew that has many adaptations; some versions incorporate rice and/or a variety of vegetables and meats, so you can use whatever you have on hand. This version is a Polish hunter’s stew that features kielbasa, smoky bacon, melty cabbage, and lots of delicious broth that can be sopped up with bread.
1 lb. double-smoked slab bacon, cut into 1″ cubes
1½ lb. kielbasa sausage, sliced on a diagonal ½” thick
8 garlic cloves, crushed
3 Tbsp. double concentrated tomato paste
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
¾ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 small head of green cabbage (about 2 lb.), cored, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled, sliced 1½” thick
1 Pink Lady apple, cored, grated on the large holes of a box grater
2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 1″ pieces
1 lb. sauerkraut (not drained; about 2 cups)
4 cups homemade beef stock or water
Small dill sprigs, dark rye or pumpernickel bread, and unsalted butter (for serving)
Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium heat, stirring often, until brown and crisp, 10–12 minutes. Transfer bacon to a small bowl with a slotted spoon; set aside. Cook kielbasa in bacon fat in pot, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl with tongs; set aside.
Reduce heat to medium-low, add garlic to same pot, and cook, stirring often, until just beginning to turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until paste darkens slightly in color and begins to stick to pot, about 2 minutes. Add paprika, coriander, cumin, and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly, just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Immediately add onions and turn to coat. Increase heat to medium-high, pour in wine, and cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, until smell of the alcohol cooks off, about 3 minutes. Stir in salt, then add cabbage, carrots, apple, potatoes, sauerkraut, stock, and reserved bacon. Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer gently, mixing well halfway through, 1 hour. Mix in reserved kielbasa. Cover and cook until bacon is tender, cabbage is meltingly soft, and potatoes are cooked through, 30–60 minutes.
Divide stew among bowls. Top with dill. Serve with bread and butter alongside.
Do Ahead: Stew can be made 1 week ahead (flavor will improve as time goes on). Cover and chill.
SOURCE: Bon Appétit