Bigos, often referred to as Hunter’s Stew, is a traditional Polish dish with a rich blend of flavors. This hearty stew combines various meats with sauerkraut and fresh cabbage, making it a perfect comfort food for colder months.


  • 1 pound sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 small head of fresh cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 pound pork shoulder, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 pound beef (stewing meat), cut into cubes
  • 1/2 pound kielbasa sausage, sliced
  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: dried prunes or apples for sweetness


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside, leaving the fat in the pot.
  2. Add the pork and beef cubes to the pot. Cook until browned on all sides. Remove the meat and set aside.
  3. In the same pot, sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Return the cooked meats and bacon to the pot. Add the sliced kielbasa sausage.
  5. Stir in the sauerkraut and shredded cabbage.
  6. Add the beef or chicken broth, red wine (if using), tomato paste, bay leaf, caraway seeds, marjoram, salt, and pepper. If desired, add prunes or apples for a touch of sweetness.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. The longer it cooks, the better the flavors will meld together.
  8. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. The stew should have a rich, hearty flavor with a balance of tanginess from the sauerkraut.
  9. Serve hot. Bigos tastes even better the next day, so it’s perfect for making ahead.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

  • Calories: 350-400
  • Fat: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Protein: 25g

Prep and Cooking Time

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 2 hours


  • Serves: 6-8 people

Polish Bigos is a robust and flavorful stew that embodies the heart of Polish cuisine. Its rich combination of meats, sauerkraut, and spices makes it a deeply satisfying meal, especially during the colder months. It’s a dish that tastes better as the flavors develop over time, making it an excellent choice for leftovers. Enjoy this traditional Polish Hunter’s Stew with a piece of rye bread or a side of potatoes for a complete meal.

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