Bigos (Hunter's Stew)

Materials Metric US
sauerkraut 740 g 1.63 lb
lean pork 80 g 2.8 oz
lean beef 70 g 2.4 oz
smoked bacon (skinless and boneless) 50 g 1.7 oz
polish smoked sausage 60 g 2.1 oz
Additional Materials
pork ribs, smoked 70 g 2.4 oz
pork ribs 70 g 2.4 oz
pork bones 160 g 5.6 oz
lard 3 g 1/2 tsp
Ingredients for 1 kg (2.2 lb) of material
salt 35 g 6 tsp
pepper 1 g 1/2 tsp
caraway seed 1 g 1/2 tsp
bay leaf, finely crushed one leaf one leaf
dry mushrooms 8 g 0.28 oz
onion 8 g 0.28 oz

Material Preparation

  • a. Strain sauerkraut and remove about 30% of the juice in relation to the original weight. Keep the juice in case the bigos is not sourly enogh. The juice can be added during cooking cabbage.
  • b. If you find your sauerkraut too acidic, rinse it with water and strain.
  • c. Cut the skinless cured bacon into 2 cm x 2.5 cm cm strips, dry and smoke with warm smoke for 4 hours. Cool bacon and cut into 3 mm (1/8") diameter strips.
  • d. Rinse dry mushrooms 3-4 times in cold water, then soak them for 30 min in cold water. Remove, drain and cut into 2 mm (1/8") strips.
  • e. Wash bones in cold water.
  • f. Cut beef and pork into 20 mm (3/4") cubes. Cut the sausage into 3 mm (1/8") discs. Cut onion into 5 mm (1/4") cubes. If using larger amounts of materials use a grinder with an appropriate plate.


  1. Place bones and ribs in a skillet and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover with a lid and simmer until the meat is semi-soft. Remove the ribs and separate the meat from the bones. Place bones back in the skillet and simmer for additional 3 hours. Remove bone and remove all meat. Filter the stock through a fine sieve. Cut the rib meat into 30 mm (3/4") pieces.
  2. Place cabbage in a pot and add equal by weight amount of the meat stock. Add caraway, bay leaf and cut up mushrooms and simmer everything together for 4 hours. Do not cover with the lid. Replace the meat stock lost during evaporation with more stock.
  3. Melt 1/2 lard in a frying pan, then fry cut up onion just to soften it. Add beef and pork cubes and simmer for 30 minutes. Add bacon and sausage and simmer for additional 20 minutes. Stir often to prevent burning.
  4. Add the following to the cooked cabbage: browned beef and pork, onion, salt, all boiled meat that was separated from the bones, and simmer for 60 minutes, stirring often. The stew should not be covered with liquid sauce, however, the sauce should come up when the stew is pressed with the spoon. Let it cool enough to be able to handle it. Add pepper and remix the stew.
  5. Fill 307x200.25 mm cans with hot stew leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
  6. Process at once 240° F, 116° C for 60 minutes.

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