Looking for something a little different for your Easter dinner this year? We recently discovered that bigos, or Hunter's Stew, is traditional Easter fare throughout Poland! This is a hearty stew filled with smoky sausage, tangy sauerkraut, and plenty of garlic. Have you had bigos before?We had bigos for the first time at an Eastern European cooking class we took this past week. The chef told us that bigos is traditional not only for Easter, but other celebration meals like Christmas and New Year's, as well! Smoky meats are a requisite, as is the sauerkraut - without them, the chef said with a dismissive wave of the hand, it's not bigos.
The resulting stew is rich with flavor - the tender bits of sausage and the bright flavor of the sauerkraut mingle with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and oh yes, all that garlic! The broth is slightly thick, and you definitely want a wedge of bread to mop up every last drop.
This stew is also best if made several days ahead so all the flavors have a chance to mingle and deepen. This alone makes it an ideal dish to serve at a large dinner like Easter. The less we have to do on the day of, the better.
This recipe from Saveur looks very close to what we had in our class: