Perhaps the thing I love most about travelling to foreign countries is trying the local food and discovering delicious delicacies that I didn’t even know existed. So this week, I’m making the national dish of Poland – a hearty, warming stew called Bigos, often referred to as ‘Hunters’ stew’.
As winter approaches in the northern hemisphere, this stew is just what you’ll need after training out in the cold. A mixture of smoked Polish sausage, sauerkraut, meat and spices, Bigos is full of flavour and keeps well – it even improves with age and reheating! And with fermented sauerkraut as one of its key ingredients, those good bacteria make it healthy for your digestive system too.
Bigos is one of those dishes for which the ingredients seem to vary widely – each family home has its own variation and you can be quite flexible about what you put in it. The meat you include can be pretty much anything, and you’re supposed to include several different types of meat. But I’ve kept my recipe quite simple, using just pork as the smoked sausage gives it plenty of flavour.
Thank you so much to my friend Ania and her mother for tips on making tasty Bigos!