Soups and Stews

Bigos: Polish Hunter’s Stew

I used to say I hated stew. Then I tried Hunter’s Stew. I first tried it when my husband and I were making our way home from our honeymoon 3 years ago. It was in a little Polish restaurant in a small town in the Kootenays area of BC. It was absolutely delicious – meaty and sauerkrauty goodness. I knew I needed to try to make it at home. Shortly after, I found a recipe to base off of, and I’ve been making it ever since. Don’t let the long ingredient list intimidate you, it’s really not that bad. And make sure you plan ahead when you make it, as it needs to cook in the oven for 2.5 to 3 hours. So, so worth it though! It tastes especially great with homemade sourdough bread, but any crusty bread will do.

Prepped ingredients for Hunter's stew

This stew isn’t like a traditional stew. It has no potatoes, and is full of sauerkraut and cabbage, which gives it loads of flavour. The smokiness comes from bacon and sausage.

Sausage and bacon browning

First the sausage and bacon are browned.

Browned pork

Then the pork is coated in flour and browned in the bacon grease. Hello flavour country!

Vegetables in pot

The the veggies are added to the pot. It will look very full…

Softened vegetables

But don’t worry, they will cook down. Then the pot gets de-glazed with a splash of red wine, and the spices are added.

stew in pot with meat

Then the liquids and the browned pork are added and brought to a boil. The pot gets covered and transferred to the oven. Now you wait.

Finished stew

2.5-3 hours later you will be treated with a delicious, hearty stew. Great for a cold winter night. Plus, the leftovers hold well, and can be frozen.

Bigos (Polish Hunter's Stew)
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
3 hr 30 mins
Total Time
4 hr 15 mins
A thick, smoky stew full of vegetables and 3 different types of pork.
Course: Soup
Servings: 12
Calories: 278 kcal
Author: Domestic Dreamboat
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 inch ring Polish kielbasa sausage sliced into 1/2 pieces
  • 1 pound cubed pork chops or tenderloin
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 onion diced
  • 8 oz white mushrooms wiped clean and sliced
  • 3 inch medium carrots peeled and cut into 1/2 pieces
  • 1/2 small green cabbage shredded
  • 16 oz sauerkraut drained
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 2 leaves bay
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 5 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons canned tomato paste
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Cook bacon and sausage in an oven safe dutch oven over medium high heat until browned. Remove from dutch oven with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.
  2. Coat cubed pork in flour and cook in bacon grease until well browned. Remove from dutch oven with a slotted spoon and set aside in the bowl with bacon and sausage.
  3. Add garlic, onion, mushrooms, carrots, cabbage and sauerkraut to the dutch oven and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Deglaze the dutch oven with the red wine, then add the bay leaves, basil, marjoram, paprika, salt, pepper,caraway and cayenne. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Stir in the beef broth, tomatoes and tomato paste, then add back the bacon, sausage and pork. Bring to a boil, then cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2.5-3 hours.



You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  • Reply
    The Ultimate Sourdough Bread
    November 11, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    […] moderate amount of salted butter. It’s also great with hearty soups or stews, especially Polish Hunter’s Stew. And it makes for some pretty good toast in the morning too. If you can’t eat the whole loaf […]

  • Leave a Reply