Prep 0 mins
Cook 3 hrs
Central Minnesota has welcomed people from many cultures and has been blessed by their food traditions. Here is a recipe for Bouja that came to us from Poland and has now become one of my home town's most enduring traditions, as well as a great fund raiser for local churches.
- 2 (7 lb) baking hens
- 6 -8 lbs stewing beef
- 2 stalks celery, cut up
- 1 head cabbage, cut up (about 2 LB.)
- 8 onions, cut up
- 6 (12 ounce) packages beans or 6 (12 ounce) packages frozen corn or 6 (12 ounce) packages frozen peas or 6 (12 ounce) packages frozen carrots
- 2 cans rutabagas
- 2 cans lima beans
- 2 cans cut yellow beans
- 2 cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed
- salt and pepper
- 1 ounce pickling spices
- Boil chicken and beef in a heavy kettle until tender.
- Use enough water to cover.
- Remove meat and cut into small bite-sized chunks.
- Discard fat and skin.
- To broth, add celery, cabbage, onions and boil until almost tender.
- Add remaining vegetables according to taste and desired thickness.
- After vegetables have cooked a short time together add meat and simmer until meat breaks apart.
- Stir occasionally with a wooden paddle.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Put (VERY IMPORTANT) dry pickling spice in a strong cloth bag and tie firmly with string so it won't come apart.
- Drop the bag into simmering bouja plunging it in and out after a short time, tasting as you go until it tastes right.
My mother comes from central Minnesota as well and I fondly remember the fall bouja feeds. This was a very good bouja and I added about 6 lbs. of pork and and turnips, parsnips, green beans and garlic, as those were other things that I had on hand from the graden. And yes, the infusion of the pickling spices is very important to getting the right taste.