Bigos (Hunter’s Stew)

Bigos (Hunter's Stew) - Pork

A traditional Polish dish, Bigos is a hearty hunter’s stew that’s perfect for cold winter days. It has many variations but typically includes cabbage, onions, bacon or ham hock, sauerkraut, carrots and potatoes. The recipe I’m sharing with you today is made without the addition of ketchup or tomato sauce which are popular additions to this dish in American cuisine. This version is also vegetarian-friendly so if you’re looking for a meatless meal idea it might be just what you need!

prep: 45 mins cook: 3 hrs total: 3 hrs 45 mins Servings: 10 Yield: 10 servings


1 (16 ounce) jar sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained

5 cups beef stock

1 dash bottled hot pepper sauce

¼ cup all-purpose flour

? teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

2 tablespoons canned tomato paste

1 pound kielbasa sausage, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces

2 thick slices hickory-smoked bacon

1 dash Worcestershire sauce

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 ½ cups sliced fresh mushrooms

½ ounce dried mushrooms

? teaspoon caraway seed, crushed

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 onion, diced

1 pound cubed pork stew meat

1 cup canned diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

4 cups shredded green cabbage

2 carrots, diced

1 teaspoon dried basil

¼ cup dry red wine


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and kielbasa; cook and stir until the bacon has rendered its fat and sausage is lightly browned. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat and transfer to a large casserole or Dutch oven.

Coat the cubes of pork lightly with flour and fry them in the bacon drippings over medium-high heat until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pork to the casserole. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, fresh mushrooms, cabbage and sauerkraut. Reduce heat to medium; cook and stir until the carrots are soft, about 10 minutes. Do not let the vegetables brown.

Deglaze the pan by pouring in the red wine and stirring to loosen all of the bits of food and flour that are stuck to the bottom. Season with the bay leaf, basil, marjoram, paprika, salt, pepper, caraway seeds and cayenne pepper; cook for 1 minute.

Mix in the dried mushrooms, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, beef stock, tomato paste and tomatoes. Heat through just until boiling. Pour the vegetables and all of the liquid into the casserole dish with the meat. Cover with a lid.

Bake in the preheated oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until meat is very tender.

Nutrition Facts:

Per Serving: 356 calories; protein 19.8g; carbohydrates 15.2g; fat 23.5g; cholesterol 62.3mg; sodium 977.8mg.

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