Bigos (Polish Hunter's Stew)


Bigos is almost a Polish national dish. This is a traditional recipe from Poland. Bigos is a rich flavorful stew with sauerkraut, Polish sausage, beef, pork, red wine, caraway seeds and more. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs
Additional Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 50 mins
6 servings


  • 9 cups boiling water, divided

  • 3 pounds sauerkraut - rinsed, drained and chopped

  • 15 pitted prunes

  • 5 whole allspice berries

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 cup dried mushrooms

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 onion, chopped

  • 1 Polish sausage, sliced

  • ½ pound beef stew meat, cubed

  • ½ pound boneless pork shoulder, cubed

  • ½ cup bacon strips, diced

  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds

  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • ¾ cup red wine

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste (Optional)


  1. Place sauerkraut in a large pan or casserole dish and pour in 4 cups of boiling water. Add prunes, allspice, and bay leaves. Simmer until Sauerkraut is soft, about 50 minutes.

  2. Pour about 1 cup of boiling water over mushrooms and soak to rehydrate, about 30 minutes. Drain and chop mushrooms, reserving the liquid.

  3. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium to high heat. Add onion and sausage. Saute while stirring until onion is soft and sausage is browned, about 5 minutes.

  4. In a separate pan, bring about 4 cups of water to a boil. Add beef, pork, and bacon. Simmer until cooked through for 20 minutes, then drain.

  5. When sauerkraut is soft, add the drained meat mixture, sausage-onion mixture, and soaked mushrooms; mix well. Simmer uncovered over low heat, about 20 minutes.

  6. Pour in red wine and cook for 15 minutes until flavors are well blended. Season with caraway seeds, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Stir in tomato puree. If the stew is too dry, pour in some of the water reserved from soaking the mushrooms, and simmer so flavors combine, about 5 minutes.


Cook's Note:

Bigos can be eaten right away but for a richer flavor continue to slow cook covered over low heat, stirring occasionally. Bigos becomes tastier the longer you cook it! You can also prepare it the day before and reheat.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

657 Calories
35g Fat
54g Carbs
33g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 657
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 11g 53%
Cholesterol 90mg 30%
Sodium 2486mg 108%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 12g 44%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 46mg 229%
Calcium 168mg 13%
Iron 8mg 47%
Potassium 2835mg 60%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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