BIGOS (Polish pork and sauerkraut stew, for eight)
¼ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
4 ounces bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 ounces smoked kielbasa, cut into 1 inch rounds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
8 whole allspice berries
2 large yellow onions, chopped
2 bay leaves
½ cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons flour
4 pounds sauerkraut, drained
2 ounces pitted prunes, chopped
6 cups beef stock
½ cup madeira wine
2 medium tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½ inch cubes
minced chives, to garnish
1.Place mushrooms into a bowl and cover with 1-1/2 cups boiling water. Let sit until mushrooms rehydrate, about 1 hour. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to a cutting board, roughly chop and set aside. Slowly pour soaking liquid into another bowl, leaving and sediment in the bottom of
the first bowl. Set aside.
2. Heat bacon in an 8 quart Dutch oven over medium heat and cook until fat renders, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Increase heat to medium high and, working in batches, season pork with salt and pepper, add to the pot and cook, turning, until browned all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer to plate with bacon. Add kielbasa, cook until browned, about 6 minutes, and transfer to plate.
3. Add caraway, allspice, onions and bay leaves. Cook, scraping the bottom of the pot, until onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until caramelized, about 8 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add sauerkraut and cook, stirring, until slightly wilted, about 3 minutes. Return meat to pot along with reserved mushrooms and their soaking liquid, and then add prunes, stock and wine. Bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium low. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add apples and cook, covered, until pork is tender, about 30 minutes more. Garnish with chives.
from Saveur Magazine