Bigos is already true to Paleo way of life, without even modifying the recipe. It’s considered by many to be the Polish national dish. Traditionally, there was a pot with some bigos cooking almost in permanence. There is no strict recipe and variations are endless. Hunters use to come back from a hunt and would put the meat they brought back in the stew, making it a different stew every time.
One particularity of this dish is the use of sauerkraut and the sour flavor it gives to the stew. Sauerkraut is a favorite with Paleo mostly for the healthy functional bacteria in it, but in this case it will only be for taste because it’ll be heated and the bacteria will die. I recommend that you get in the habit of making your own sauerkraut at home for a fraction of the price of the bought version. If you decide to buy it for now, look for a real sauerkraut without vinegar in the ingredients. The sour taste should come as a by-product of the fermentation. Bubbies makes a great sauerkraut that is available in most health food stores.
The original recipe calls for kielbasa sausage, but substitute with another kind of sausage if you can’t find a good quality kielbasa without additives, sugar or other intruders. All the meats used can be substituted for what you have available, it’s the spirit of this stew.
- 1/2 medium cabbage;
- 4 cups of sauerkraut;
- 1 can tomato paste;
- 1/2 lb bacon sliced;
- 1 lb pork diced (any parts that can be sautéed is good);
- 1 lb Kielbasa sausage sliced (optionally substitute with a quality sausage from your butcher);
- 1 large onion diced;
- 2 cloves garlic minced;
- 1 bay leaf;
- Optional salt and pepper to taste;
- Cut your washed cabbage in thin slices and boil until tender in a pot.
- Boil the sauerkraut in another pot in about 2 cups of water. Strain and keep the sour water aside.
- Sauté your diced pork in a pan with some cooking oil (lard, coconut oil or butter are good), then set aside.
- Sauté the bacon and sausage with the onion and garlic.
- In a large pot, combine the cooked cabbage, sauerkraut, sour water, tomato paste, spices and your cooked meats, onion and garlic.
- Let simmer for about 1 hour.
- Enjoy with your family and friends!