Polish Hunter's Stew - Bigos

Polish Hunter’s Stew (Bigos)

Polish Hunter’s Stew (Bigos)

Smacznego! My dad used to make this dish and served it with mashed potatoes. Prep & chop everything before starting and use your biggest pot. It’s best to make this a day or two before serving because the flavors improve over time. - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Makes: 6 - 8 servings

Polish Hunter’s Stew (Bigos)


  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 pound boneless center cut pork chop (extra fat removed)
  • 1/4 pound beef stew meat
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 pound sliced crimini mushrooms (2 cups)
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage

  • 3 cups chicken stock (I use Swanson unsalted cooking stock)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 pounds drained sauerkraut (reserve the juice)
  • 1 cup (reserved) sauerkraut juice
  • 3 ounces kielbasa, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves


  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil over med-high heat and brown the pork and beef for 4-5 minutes, sprinkling with salt & pepper. Remove to a bowl.
  2. In the same pot in 1 teaspoon of oil, brown the onions & garlic for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
  3. Add mushrooms, cook & stir 2 minutes.
  4. Add cabbage, cook & stir 2 minutes.
  5. Stir tomato paste into chicken stock and add to the pot along with the remaining ingredients. Combine well, burying the meats under the mixture. Cover and simmer 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove the pork and beef and shred using 2 forks. Return to pot.

Notes: For more on this recipe in my blog click here.

32 Comments on "Polish Hunter’s Stew (Bigos)"

  1. Barbara

    do you have a kapusta recipe?

  2. Millie

    Polish Hunter’s Stew

    I wanted something different. My family of ffive enjoyed this stew very much; in fact, it was terrific if you like saurkraut and we do.

  3. Lin

    Hello Jenny, Just wanted to say thanks and to compliment you for the wonderful recipes that you have posted on your site. I have enjoyed making some of the breads , rolls and cake recipes and have been amazed at my results.Thanks for the detailed recipes and video tutorials too. Great Job! Lin

  4. William

    My grand mother made an Easter Soup that was to die for. Over the years, recipe was lost.
    It had kielbasa, dried mushrooms, potatoes, a little vinegar, eggs, maybe sour cream and other stuff.
    I was in elementary school at the time and still remember the way it tasted.
    Any thoughts on a complete recipe?

    • sue papais


      Go on Genius Kitchen. There is a recipe for the Easter Soup. sue

    • Tara

      Look up recipes for Zurek soup, many variations but with ingredients you’ve listed it may be it.

    • Adam

      Sounds like White Borscht to me. My favorite.

  5. Peter J

    When I was a kid,my Aunt used to make me a special dish,but I dont know what it was called,we would both smile and eat it,so good. It was a drop dumpling,bacon,and I don’t know what else,but I Remember it being a yellowish color, can you help

    • Jenny

      Could it be kluski? See my Potato Gnocchi recipe.

  6. Brenda

    I make this and enjoyed it very much. Next time I’ll only use 1/2 of the kraut juice as it was a little strong for me. Also, be sure and use a good quality sausage or it won’t add much taste to the bigos. I think I’ll also add a cup of sliced carrots. I served it with garlic mashed potatoes. Very good.

  7. rose

    Hi Jenny, Have you ever made saurkraut from scratch? I would like to try this and I trust your recipes! I think it would be especially great for bigos.

    • Patt Konopka

      I make my own Kraut and use it for Bigos. It turns out wonderful!

  8. Cyndi

    They are hard to find in less you have a Polish import store but, try and find the dried Polish mushrooms for this dish it’s worth the effort and the huge expense, about five bucks an ounce !

    • Jolanta

      Cyndi, I use a lot of dried mushrooms and buy them directly from Kirsch Mushroom Company in New York. 718.991.4977. They send me a pound of wonderfully tasty i perfectly fragrant dried mushrooms for about $65. Believe me, you will like them.

  9. Leigh

    Hi ! I just found your site yesterday and love it ! I wondered if you had a recipe for Kapusta ? My in laws used to make it, and it was terrific. Thank you ! Leigh
    Ps. I made your crusty rolls (subbed 1 cup of whole wheat and added 1 tsp of vital wheat gluten – they turned out great !

  10. Ginny

    Hi Jenny,
    Your recipe is not really clear on when & what to do with the sauerkraut and reserved juice????

    • Jenny

      Drain the kraut and in step #5, add all of the drained kraut to the pot. Of the reserved juice you save when draining, add one cup of the reserved kraut juice to the pot. I hope that helps.

  11. Leanne

    Can this be done in a slow cooker/crockpot?

    • Jenny

      I’m sorry I have no experience with slow cookers.

    • Henry

      Yes it can be made in a crock pot. Just cook it on low for about 6-8 hours.

  12. Curt

    My wife is from Cracow Poland and she introduced me to this 20 years ago. This is a main staple in our house. Can this be pressure canned? It would be nice to make up a bunch of this and can it so we could have a jar ready any time we want.

  13. Theresa Kasprzak (Kotkowski)

    Have just discovered your recipes as I was searching for Polish foods my Babcia used to make for Easter and Christmas. Did not know you were of Polish descent so is another plus in my book! I really want to try the punchki and chruschiki tha t I loved as a kid. Thanks. Hope to pass on these traditional foods to my daughter so it isn’t lost.

  14. Christina

    Hi Jenny,

    Is the Kielbasa smoked or raw?

  15. Nancy

    Is there a substitute for the sauerkraut juice. Not sure where to get the sauerkraut juice. Do you have any suggestions as the recipe sounds good.
    I appreciate your help.

    • Jenny

      The sauerkraut juice will be in the container of sauerkraut so you keep it when you drain the kraut. I will clarify the recipe so I’m glad you asked.

  16. Jeanne

    I haven’t tried this yet, but will, this Fall. Being Polish I love this dish and know that yours will be as good as I remember. I’ll update after we make it.


  17. Denise

    Can’t wait to try this. Was wondering though, can it be braised in the oven at step 5? If so, what temperature would you suggest? and would it need to be covered?

    Also, is the centre cut pork cut up into smaller pieces?
    My mouth is watering as I type this!

    • Jenny

      It needs to be covered for the two hours it cooks and the best temperature if you cook in the oven would be 325, but you should check on it and stir about every 30 minutes. When the stew has finished cooking, the pork is shredded using two forks and returned to the pot.

  18. Heather

    Jenny, I love your recipes! Your beef stew is the best, my teenage daughter requested it for the first day of Fall so I made it last night. My mom said it was the “best stew she’s had in decades”. Love your site, thanks for sharing your family recipes with us.

  19. Joanna

    bardzo lubie ogladac twoj blog i korzystac z twoich przepisow …i jak sie okazuje to,ze ja tez potrafie smacznie gotowac i piec ! I to – dzieki tobie.Bardzo wdzieczna Joanna.Pozdrawiam serdecznie

    (translation: I really like to watch your blog and use your recipes … and as it turns out I can cook and bake delicious! And it is – thanks to you. Very grateful Joanna

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