Tomorrow we are hosting our first OktoberFrost party! I have been cooking up a storm today and have the Hunter's, aka Sauerkraut, stew finished as well as the sauerbraten. I just need to finish the gravy for the meat tomorrow and finalize a few odds and ends and we'll be ready to go.
Since some of you can't make it to the party and it's supposed to be cooler later in the week, I thought I'd share the stew recipe with you today. Please don't let the long list of ingredients scare you away from making this hearty stew. Once it's all put together, you just have to let it cook for a couple of hours, stirring occassionally. You could also make this in your crockpot.
The first time I ever had a stew like this was at the Feast of the Hunter's Moon in Lafayette, IN. I fell in love with this stew and have worked and worked to come up with a version that even comes close. I think this one is just about right. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Enjoy!
Makes about 8 servings
2 thick (or 4 regular) slices bacon, diced
1 pound Polish or smoked sausage, sliced
1 pound beef or pork stew meat, cubed
1/4 cup flour
Vegetable oil as needed
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, diced
4 cups green cabbage, thickly shredded
1-2 pounds sauerkraut, drained and rinsed (I used 2)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Dash hot sauce
Dash Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup red wine
4 cups beef stock
1 bottle dark beer
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup diced fresh tomato
3 Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
In a large (6-8 quart) pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon until it renders its fat and turns light brown, not crisp. Using slotted spoon, carefully remove bacon to a large pot or crockpot.
Add sliced Polish sausage to pan and cook, stirring constantly, until sausage browns. Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage and add to pot or crockpot.
Dredge beef or pork stew meat in flour and brown in pan with drippings from bacon and Polish sausage. Work in batches until all meat is browned then remove and add to bacon and sausage. You should have about 2 tablespoons fat left in the pan. If you don't add some olive or canola oil.
Add garlic, onion, carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, and sauerkraut, and cook, stirring frequently until carrots begin to soften - 5 to 10 minutes. Do not brown vegetables.
Put all vegetables in large pot or crockpot then add: bay leaf, basil, marjoram, paprika, black pepper, cayenne, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, wine, stock, beer, tomato paste, tomatoes, and potatoes.
Stir well to incorporate all ingredients. If making on the stove top, cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. If using a crockpot, cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for about 6 hours.
Serve with rye bread and enjoy! This stew tastes even better the next day.