1 h
This comforting meat stew is popular in Poland. Bigos is cooked with cabbage, spiced sausage and pork. Best prepared the day before it is served to unlock the most flavour, this dish goes well piping hot with sour cream, boiled potatoes and a rustic bread.


  • Shred the cabbage and place in a pot. Fill with water and boil. Crumble in the dried mushrooms and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Cut the meat into smaller pieces. Dice the pork. Peel and cut the onion.
  • Heat up the butter and brown the meat and pork separately. Add the onion and fry until soft.
  • Rinse the sauerkraut and allow it to dry. Add it along with the browned meat to the cabbage and mushroom mixture.
  • Stir in the wine, tomato purée and bay leaves. Crumble in the stock cubes. Grind the cloves, juniper and some black pepper. Add it to the stew, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add more water if needed.
  • Boil the potatoes.
  • Cut the sausage into pieces and allow it to simmer in the stew for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve the bigos with boiled potatoes, sour cream and parsley.


What is bigos called in English?
Bigos is sometimes referred to in English as hunter’s stew, though the Polish name is also commonly used.
How long can you keep bigos in the fridge?
Once cool, bigos can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Alternatively, it can also be frozen to preserve for longer.
What is the difference between bigos and kapusta?
Bigos is not to be confused with kapusta, which is a Polish version of sauerkraut often mixed with meat and onions. In fact, kapusta can even be found as an ingredient in some bigos recipes.


White cabbages
200 g
600 ml
Dried mushrooms (for example chanterelle or porcini)
30 g
Pork schnitzels
300 g
Smoked pork belly
250 g
Yellow onions
25 g
200 g
Red wine
200 ml
Tomato purée
100 ml
Meat stock
2 dice
Bay leaves
Juniper berries
1 tsp
Whole clove
Bratwursts (ideally Thuringian)
250 g
Serve with
900 g
Sour cream
200 ml
Fresh parsley

Like a Polish hug in a bowl

Bigos is one of the oldest documented Polish dishes, with recipes in cookbooks from as far back as 1682. Often eaten around holiday periods, it is particularly popular in the winter months and can be adapted with any kind of meat you wish to use, so feel free to swap ingredients in and out according to taste.

Traditional accompaniments

Keep your meal authentically Polish by serving it with a homemade loaf of freshly baked bread. A sourdough rye bread (Chleb Zytni Na Zakwasies) is the most traditional but a simple white loaf (Chleb Pszenny) or Poland’s take on flatbread (Podplomyki) are equally delicious alternatives. Boiled potatoes or root vegetables also work well.

Suggestions for the best drinks to pair with bigos

It’s common to drink chilled vodka with bigos, either the standard or flavoured kind. If you fancy something slightly softer, a fruity wine or light beer are also great pairings to this rich stew.

How to make your bigos taste even better the next day

Regardless of the combination of ingredients you opt for, most people agree that bigos’ rich and earthy flavours only improve over time. As with all stews (and soups for that matter), this is mainly because the ingredients are able to marry and blend better, intensifying and unifying the dish even more. Some even claim that reheating at least three times is the secret to the best bigos you have ever tasted.