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This easy Balkan baked sauerkraut (aka podvarak) is simple, nourishing, and delicious comfort food made with just a few ingredients. Popular across the Balkans, this Serbian-style sauerkraut is first sautéed with onions and bacon and baked in an oven with meat until almost caramelized.

The dish is considered poor man's food in parts of Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. The dish is commonly seasoned with very finely chopped bacon (typically fried together with chopped onions).

In Bosnian Muslim communities in the Balkans, the dish is made without bacon or pork, with poultry, beef, or lamb; sometimes lamb pastrami or beef sujuk are used as cured, smoked flavoring for the dish.

Polish bigos is a similar dish, the main difference being that podvarak is always baked in the oven to caramelize meat and cabbage for deeper flavor, and sometimes baked in a sač, outdoors, for additional smokiness.

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How to cook