Skip to main content

Traditional Polish Bigos Recipe

Traditional Polish Bigos, often referred to as Polish Hunter’s Stew, is a hearty dish rich with history and flavour. It’s a perfect comfort food for cold days, combining various meats with sauerkraut and fresh cabbage

Total Time
4 hours
Simple & Professional Tasty Recipes

Ingredients for 8 Servings

  • 500g sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
    300g fresh white cabbage, shredded
    200g pork shoulder, cut into cubes
    200g smoked kielbasa, sliced
    150g beef, cut into cubes
    100g smoked bacon, chopped
    2 medium onions, diced
    200g mushrooms, sliced
    400ml beef or vegetable stock
    2 bay leaves
    5 allspice berries
    5 juniper berries
    1 tsp caraway seeds
    Salt and pepper to taste
    2 tbsp tomato paste
    1 tsp sugar
    150ml dry red wine
    A handful of prunes, optional
    Fresh parsley for garnish

Total Time

  • Preparation Time
    30 min
  • Cooking Time
    3.5 hours

Goes Great with

    1. Roast The Onions
      • In a large pot, sauté onions and garlic until golden.
    2. Brown the Meat
      • Add pork and beef, cooking until browned.
    3. Add the Veggies
      • Stir in sauerkraut, carrots, tomato passata, and beef broth.
    4. Seasonings
      • Season with bay leaves, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper.
    5. Cook it slow
      • Simmer on low heat for 2 hours, allowing flavors to meld.
    6. Kielbasa is Key
      • Add sliced sausage and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
    7. The hotter the better
      • Adjust seasoning if needed and serve hot.
    Pro Tips
    • For a richer flavour, let the bigos sit overnight and reheat it the next day.
    • Bigos pairs beautifully with rye bread and a cold Polish beer.
    • Feel free to experiment with different meats like venison or lamb for variety.


Calories Per Serving:
Approximately 300-350 calories

Kielbasa is a type of sausage that is a staple of Polish cuisine. The word “kielbasa” actually means “sausage” in Polish, but it has come to be associated with a particular variety of sausage outside of Poland. Traditional kielbasa is made from ground meat, typically pork, though beef or turkey may also be used, which is then seasoned with spices such as garlic, marjoram, and black pepper. It’s encased in natural casings and smoked, giving it a distinctive flavor and color.

There are many varieties of kielbasa, including:

  • Fresh Kielbasa: Not smoked, and typically needs to be cooked before eating.
  • Smoked Kielbasa: Fully cooked and can be eaten as is or added to dishes.
  • Dry Kielbasa: A dried version, similar to salami, and can be eaten without cooking.

Kielbasa can be served cold, grilled, sautéed, or added to stews, soups, and other dishes like the traditional Polish bigos. It’s a versatile ingredient that adds a rich, smoky flavor to any meal.

Goes Great with