Cooking with Sauerkraut – Bigos

cooking with ferments

Bigos is a Polish dish often with cabbage, a meat, and some other assorted vegetables. It works as an incredible starting point to inspire infinite variations of winter meals. The word “authentic” often get tossed around with recipes, but the most authentic way to make this dish may be to use whatever ingredients you have stored up in your larder or cellar.

The base of bigos is a heap of sauerkraut. We make our kraut for the year in 5 gallon buckets that we’ll scoop out handfuls for this recipe. The kraut is simmered as long as you have time to let it. The other ingredients are up to what you have. Big chunks of garlic and onions are natural companions, as would be roots like carrots, rutabaga, beets, potatoes, and radishes, as well as any dried herbs. Then toss in protein which could be your homemade sausage, frozed-away or cured meat, or homegrown beans or tempeh.

Use any variety of your winter storage veg and meat to go with your sauerkraut.

Chop everything up and toss it in.

Then dump on a heap of kraut.

Pop on a lid and let it stew on low heat for as long as you will. Don’t forget to salt to taste. The colder it is outside the darker I crave a brown caramelization. Stir occasionally.

Enjoy with a big dollop of sour cream or yogurt!