What is Bigos, you may ask? Well, it's a Polish dish, sometimes called "hunter stew" and often considered to be the national dish of Poland. It is not for vegetarians, meat rules in this dish along with other traditional Polish fare such as cabbage, sauerkraut, and mushrooms.
I'd had Bigos a few times at some restaurants in the area and liked it. When I saw a recipe posted online on the About.com Eastern European Foog blog, I decided it was time to give it a try. I'm glad I did.
To see the recipe you can go here. Of course, in good "Lake Mary Food Critic" fashion, it did not follow it that closely. But still it turned out good. I would not call Bigos a "pretty dish" although a few friends said it looked good. But here, you be teh judgte:
So what did I do differently and what would I do different next time? I had some leftover kielbasa in the freezer, so I cut that into about 1/2 inch slices, then quartered those. For the other meat, I had some leftover frozen smoked pulled pork in the freezer and I used that. I'll tell you, the aroma of the hickory smoked pulled pork added a wonderful note to this dish. The tomatoes I used were a bit underripe and next time I'd use a healthy dose of tomato paste in addition to fresh tomatoes, I think that would have given it a nice note. Also, I'd use fresh mushrooms next time, and more of them. The reconsitituted dried mushrooms had a bit of a spongy texture, that's all.
Overall, this turned out to be a very successful dish. I gave some to some unsuspecting friends. They thought it looked weird, but figured if I cooked it, it must be good. They absolutely raved about it, they loved it so much. And when my Polish friend Ewa tasted it, she thought I must have had her recipe--and she loved it as well. So, my word to you is, give it a try! Definitely Bardzo Smacznego--very good eats!