Bigos photo from Marianna Olszewska Heberle's cookbook "Polish Cooking"

Bigos (Hunter's Stew)

Bigos, or Hunter's Stew, is a traditional polish dish that warms you up on cold winter days. It can be made with leftover meat that has been frozen and collected to make bigos or with fresh meat bought for the purpose of making bigos. Bigos  gets better with every day it is reheated!

Makes 12 to 14 servings. Adapted from "Polish Cooking" by Marianna Olszewska Heberle. 


3 lbs sauerkraut

2 lbs ham or pork (only use meat with large bones or no bones)

2 lbs Polish smoked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 lb bacon

10 cups beef broth

2 lbs green cabbage, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 oz dried mushrooms, chopped

about 16 black peppercorns

8-10 allspice berries

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbls butter


Rinse sauerkraut well with cold water, drain. In a large pot, combine sauerkraut, ham or pork, bay leaves, mushrooms, peppercorns, allspice, and salt. Add 5 cups of the beef broth and cook for over medium heat for 15 minutes. Cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Remove meat. Place cabbage in a different large pot. Add the remaining 5 cups of broth and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 1 hour or until cabbage is soft. Add the sauerkraut mixture. Debone the ham or pork if needed and cut it into cubes. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add the cubed meat and the cubed sausage. Saute for 10 minutes or until browned. Add to the sauerkraut mixture. In the same skillet, saute bacon until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towel. Add bacon to the sauerkraut mixture. Cover and cook over low heat for about 1 hour. Remove and discard bay leaves. Serve hot in bowls. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator. Enjoy! 

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