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Hearty Bigos (Polish Hunter’s Stew) Recipe

When the chill of winter nips at your nose, there’s nothing more inviting than the warm aroma of a stew bubbling away on the stove. Enter Bigos, the quintessential Polish hunter’s stew. This dish promises a culinary journey, transporting you straight to the heart of Polish culinary traditions.


  • A medieval concoction, the Bigos stands out due to its rich meat content and spices.
  • It offers a perfect blend of tender pork, smoky kielbasa, tangy sauerkraut, and aromatic spices.
  • Ideal for those who crave comfort and warmth from their meals during colder months.


  • Olive oil: 2 tbsp
  • Pork stew meat: 1 lb
  • Salt: ½ tsp & Black pepper: ¼ tsp
  • Kielbasa link (sliced): 14 oz
  • Garlic cloves (minced): 4
  • Diced veggies: Onion (½ cup), Carrots (½ cup), Celery (½ cup)
  • Prunes (diced): 4
  • Dried porcini mushrooms (reconstituted & diced): ¼ cup
  • Seasonings: Allspice (¼ tsp) & Caraway seeds (½ tsp)
  • Diced tomatoes: 15 oz
  • Tomato paste: 1 tbsp
  • Sauerkraut (drained): 2 cups
  • Chopped cabbage: 2 cups
  • Bay leaves: 3
  • Pumpernickel bread (for serving): 6-8 slices
  • Salted butter (for serving): ¼ cup

Cooking Steps:

  1. Meat Searing: Use a Dutch oven or pot to heat olive oil. Dry and season the pork, then sear it till browned. Place it aside.
  2. Kielbasa Cooking: Brown the kielbasa slices and set them aside with the pork.
  3. Veggie Sauté: Combine and sauté garlic, veggies, prunes, and mushrooms till they’re tender-crisp. Introduce the seasonings, then add the tomatoes and tomato paste, letting it simmer.
  4. Combine & Cook: Once simmering, integrate the sauerkraut, cabbage, and bay leaves. Allow it to simmer for about 1.5 hours until the pork turns fork-tender.
  5. Serve & Enjoy: Divide the stew among bowls and accompany with pumpernickel bread and butter. Relish the warmth and comfort!
Hearty Bigos (Polish Hunter's Stew) Recipe

Nutritional Information (per serving):

  • Calories: 507
  • Total Fat: 34.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 13.2g
  • Cholesterol: 111.6mg
  • Carbs: 24.0g
  • Dietary Fiber: 6.1g
  • Sugars: 6.4g
  • Sodium: 973.3mg
  • Protein: 27.9g

Final Thoughts:

The beauty of Bigos lies in its versatility. It’s equally comforting whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply looking to warm up on a chilly evening. The succulence of the pork, the smokiness of the kielbasa, the tanginess of the sauerkraut, and the depth of the spices culminate into a symphony of flavors. And as with most stews, the taste deepens, making the leftovers the next day even more delightful! Whether you’re of Polish descent or just a food enthusiast, this Bigos recipe is a must-try. So, roll up your sleeves, prepare this hearty stew, and let every spoonful warm your heart and soul!

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