Polish Cabbage with Mushrooms {Kapusta z Grzybami}

Kapusta z Grzybami [kah-poos-tah z gshi-bah-mee] is a vegetarian version of bigos, by Poles often called “bigos jarski”. It is prepared with both fresh cabbage and sauerkraut, dried wild mushrooms and fresh mushrooms and spices. It’s tangy and aromatic, and fills my kitchen with smells of the home I grew up in. I love sauerkraut dishes and I’ve been craving cabbage for the past few days, so I’m making some of my favorite dishes this week (ate pierogi twice this week 🙂 )

Cabbage with Mushrooms {Kapusta z Grzybami}

  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 1.5 h + 1.5 h

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 1 can (14 oz / 500 g) of sauerkraut
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 peppercorns (whole) and allspice each
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 16 - 20 oz / 500 - 700 g of baby bellas / button mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • About 1 cup of dried mushrooms*
  • 2 tbs of tomato paste

Instructions

  1. Place dried mushrooms in a small pot, add enough boiling water to cover, set aside until mushrooms rehydrate (about 10-15 min).

  2. In the mean time, shred cabbage and cut into smaller pieces. Place in a large pot with 1 1/5 cups of water, bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice and salt. Boil on medium heat until cabbage softens (only about 5 min). Add sauerkraut (I don't drain my sauerkraut, nor do I rinse it. If you like your kraut a bit milder, rinse it). Continue cooking on medium-low.

  3. Clean and slice button mushrooms. Sauté in butter until golden brown around the edges. Transfer to cabbage mixture. Sauté chopped onion (add a bit more butter if needed), and also add to the party.

  4. After dried mushrooms rehydrate, boil for about 10 min on low (check if they're soft, if not, boil for a bit longer. Add more water if needed). When mushrooms are soft, dump the water from boiling them into cabbage mixture. Chop wild mushrooms and add to the cabbage also.

  5. Add tomato paste and continue cooking for total cooking time of about 1 hour. Turn off and set aside to cool. Refrigerate overnight. Next day, cook again for another hour and a half or so.

Notes

This dish does well in the fridge and tastes the best if cooked over several days. Give it at lease two days (1.5 hrs each day) of cooking before serving for best results.

For meat-eaters out there, try a recipe for Bigos {Hunter’s Stew}, similar cabbage and sauerkraut dish with addition of variety of meats.

Happy cooking!

Anna

*if you don’t have a Polish or Italian grocery in your area, you can purchase dried mushrooms on line, I get mine here. I like this particular blend, as it has some wild mushrooms in it, not only shiitake and oysters. A large container like this will last me about 6 months. If you’re going to be doing more Polish cooking, I recommend getting a large container like this. Use them to make aromatic, fall mushroom soup, mushroom souce to be served with dumplings, or addition to stews and soups.

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