Polish Meats

Hunters Stew (Bigos)

Poland's national dish and one of my favourite dishes. There is a variety in ingredients, some have mushrooms and juniper berries, while others contain apples, venison, lamb or beef. It is best made a two days in advance and reheated on low heat before serving. This enhances the flavour.

1/4 cup butter
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 jar sauerkraut
1 can tomatoes, peeled
1 small white cabbage
10 oz strong beef stock
9 oz smoked sausage
5 to 6 pork ribs
salt and pepper

Melt butter in a saucepan and fry the onions until golden. Rinse the sauerkraut in cold water, drain thoroughly and mix with the onions. Add the tomatoes. Chop the cabbage finely and mix in. Add the stock, stirring well, and then the pork ribs. Slice the sausage and add into the stew. Allow to simmer on low heat for one hour. Season to taste. Remove from heat and leave covered for 24 hours. Refrigerate and reheat before serving. Serves 8. Note: If you prefer the dish to be more sour, add more sauerkraut.

Meatloaf Stuffed with Eggs (Klopsy)

A simple yet satisfying Polish dish.

2 eggs, hard-boiled
1/2 cup stale bread
1/3 cup onion
1/8 cup butter
17.5 oz ground beef, pork or a mixture of both
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 tbs chopped fresh parsely
oil/butter to grease baking dish
salt and pepper

Peel the hard-boiled eggs and quater them lengthwise. Soak the stale bread in water, and when soft, squeeze out the excess water and mince. Peel and chop the onion and fry in butter until lightly golden - set aside. Mince the meat with the bread, onion and beaten egg. Add salt and pepper and knead until all ingredients are combined. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on a large board and place the meat mixture on top, spreading it fairly thin to form a rectangle (A4 size). Place egg quarters along one side, pointing them towards the middle. Sprinkle with parsely. Roll the meat up into a thick cylinder, starting from the side where the eggs are so that they will be in the middle. Heat the oven to 220C/425F. Grease a fairly deep baking dish. Add the meatloaf, basting with some oil/butter. Cover tray with foil and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, basting frequently. Cut into slices and serve. Serves 4.

Polish Sausage in Tomato Sauce (Kielbasa w Sosie Pomidorowym)

The kielbasa or Polish sausage can be found in the Polish delicatessen shops. You can use any variety Polish sausage for this dish.

1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup onion, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
6.8 oz water or beef stock
1 1/2 tbs tomato puree
a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper
7 oz Polish sausage (kielbasa)

Heat the butter and lightly brown the onions. Add the flour and brown again. Gradually stir in water or beef stock and bring to a boil. Add the tomato puree, salt pepper and sugar. Skin the sausage, cut into big cubes, and add to sauce. Simmer the sauce for a few more minutes until the flavours blend. Serve with potatoes. Serves 2.

Roast Pork with Caraway (Schab Wieprzowy po Polsku)

Another simple yet satisfying Polish dish. Didn't I say that Polish dishes were very easy to prepare?

2 kg loin of pork
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried majoram
1 tsp caraway seeds
1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven to 220C/425F. Score the fat of the pork with a knife and rub with salt, majoram and caraway seeds over the meat. In a large pan, melt the butter over high heat and seal the meat rapidly. When the pork is brown all over, place into a roasting dish and roast for 2 1/2 hours, basting frequently. Serves 6.

Breaded Pork Chops (Kotlet Schabowy)

4 medium-sized pork chops
salt and pepper
1/3 cup plain flour
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Oil/butter for frying

Beat out the pork chops until fairly thin. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. On separate plates, pour flour, egg and breadcrumbs. Dip each chop into the flour, coating on both sides, and then dip into the beaten egg. finally press the chops on to the breadcrumbs, ensuring even coating. Heat sufficient oil/butter in a large frying pan. When very hot, add the pork and cook over high heat for 5 minutes on each side. Lower heat and cook for another few minutes until golden. Serves 4.