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Bigos (Hunter's Stew)

Reviewed: Jan. 25, 2014
This recipe is super! Though not wishing to be contrarian, please note that Genevieve's negative review is misinformed. I'm a bigos aficionado having visited Poland about 50 times and consumed bigos probably in more than 100 locations all over that country. Upon arrival in Poland, seeking out bigos is usually one of my first endeavors. I share the foregoing to impart credence to my statements about Polish bigos. Though no two cooks make it identically, it ALWAYS is sauerkraut based (indeed usually mostly sauerkraut) and ALWAYS salty. I have NEVER seen it with venison or any other wild game (but why not?) and it NEVER has a "thick, rich brown base" (gravy). Genevieve obviously is thinking of something else. The translation "hunter's stew" may be the misnomer. Bigos, at least as it commonly is prepared in virtually every Polish household and restaurant today, is made with farm raised meats obtained from the butcher - most always including kielbasa and often with pork, bacon and/or ham. In Europe, recepies prominently featuring mushrooms as an ingredient commonly have the term "hunter" (mushroom hunter?) in their title. Bigos may or may not have a lot of or any mushrooms. But, in my experience, it always has a lot of sauerkraut, onions and kielbasa. The rest left to the imagination and resources of the cook. In Poland it is said no clever man states a preference concerning the bigos of his wife compared to his mother's if both women are living.
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