Bigos with sausage and bacon in a red dutch oven

Bigos: traditional Polish sauerkraut

Taylor Beal

Contributing writer

When visiting Krakow, Poland, you must do a few things: experience the beauty of downtown Krakow, go on a day trip to visit Auschwitz, and, of course, try some Polish bigos.

Bigos, or "Hunter's Stew" in English, is a traditional Polish dish that has been a favorite in families for as long as anyone can remember. With roots as far back as the 18th century, it is hard to believe that bigos is still around with great popularity today. Even still, it is often brought as a dish to special occasions- especially during the winter months. 

 It is a simple recipe meant to be hearty and filling. It is the perfect dinner to warm you up on a cold day, and it doesn't require a ton of pre-planning! Throw some ingredients in a pot and call it a day! Best of all, Bigos is incredibly versatile. If you're missing an ingredient, you can substitute something else. As long as you have the three main parts of the recipe: meat, sauerkraut (cabbage), and spices, you should be good to go!

One of my favourite ways to eat bigos is in a freshly-warmed bread bowl. I promise there is nothing better!


  • 3 slices bacon
  • 450g kielbasa (Polish sausage), sliced
  • 450g stewing beef, cubed
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 5 cups beef stock
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/8 tsp crushed caraway seed
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp canned tomato paste
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • Splash red wine


  1. 1
    Preheat oven to 180 °C (350°F)
  2. 2
    Saute bacon and kielbasa in a pot until browned. Leave drippings in pan and transfer the meat to a Dutch oven.
  3. 3
    Coat cubes of pork with flour and fry them in bacon drippings until golden-brown. Then, remove from the pot and add the pork to the Dutch Oven.
  4. 4
    Add garlic, onion, carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, and sauerkraut to the pot. Cook on medium for about 10 minutes.
  5. 5
    Pour in red wine to deglaze the pan. Then, add bay leaf, basil, marjoram, salt, pepper, caraway seeds, and cayenne pepper to the pot.
  6. 6
    Mix in Worcestershire sauce, beef stock, tomato paste, and tomatoes and cook until boiling.
  7. 7
    Pour everything into the Dutch Oven and bake for 2.5-3 hours.

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Taylor Beal

Author - Taylor Beal

Taylor is a storyteller, wife and mom of two little boys. She enjoys spending time exploring new places, trying new foods, and reading her way around the world...with a good beer in hand! 

Last Updated 12 November 2022

 Rynek square with small colorful houses and old Town Hall in Poznan, Poland


A land of majestic castles, beautiful cities and rugged, picturesque landscapes, Poland has had a long and often turbulent history.