Slow cooking fully develops the flavors of this Polish dish. It is best when made several days in advance and reheated.


Makes 4 to 6 servings


4 dried mushrooms (European variety)
3/4 cup warm water
2 packages (1 pound each) fresh sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1 can (16 ounces) tomatoes, undrained and cut up
1 large onion, chopped
1 large apple, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
5 whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1/2 pound bacon, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, sliced
1/2 pound kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch pieces


  1. Place mushrooms and water in small saucepan; soak 30 minutes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
  2. Remove mushrooms from liquid with slotted spoon; reserve liquid. Cool mushrooms slightly, then slice. Place mushrooms, reserved cooking liquid, sauerkraut, tomatoes with juice, onion, apple and garlic in Dutch oven.
  3. Place peppercorns and bay leaf on small square of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together and tie with piece of kitchen string to form small bag; add to Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until brown and crispy; drain bacon on paper towels.
  5. Stir bacon, carrots and kielbasa into Dutch oven. Cover; cook 1 hour more or until carrots are tender. Remove and discard cheesecloth bag.

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