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I’m sure the Eastern European feel to it comments was well-intentioned but when will people learn that Poland is not a part of Eastern Europe. Both historically and geographically Poland is located in Central Europe as well as a number of her neighbors (for example Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, to name a few, fellow members of the alliance known as the Visegrád Group V-4) who were betrayed and sold into Soviet subjugation after World War II. The term Eastern Europe is a geopolitical designation, not a geographical one as far as Poland is concerned.
With regard to the Bigos recipe, it sounds to have the makings of a great version of the non-game meat traditional Polish stew. I will be making it for New Year’s Day, when it is traditionally served.
Thank you for posting this recipe of one of my most favorite dishes. Bigos is wonderful for the cold autumn and winter dinners but you can have it for Easter dinner as well. I cook my sauerkraut and fresh cabbage separately and only later combine them when all meats are in. I use pork, beef and Polish kielbasa.. Meats are to be brown separately and added gradually to the cooking sauerkraut. I don’t add tomatoes like some do but instead add a bit of red wine from time to time. You can also add prunes but then frequent stirring is a must since prunes cause burning. Reheating next day adds to the depth of bigos. Thank you again for this posting; it makes me homesick for Poland.
This looks so delicious. I really want to try making this at home, it reminds me of the stews my grandpa would make when I was younger. Thank you for sharing your recipe!
Excellent recipe. Had to change quantities sometimes but have made i about a dozen times. Only major change is that i don’t add extra salt.next time I’m in Poland I’ll see if their bigos is as good
A gastronomic delight.
They actually have bigos at IKEA in Poland ,and pretty damn good too !
Could you use a smoked pork shoulder in this recipe? I’ve only seen huge pork shoulders at the supermarket, and I think they call them a Picnic ham? Please set me straight!
Hi Gail, you should easily be able to find pork shoulder meat already cut into big chunks for making stew. I guess you could use smoked pork shoulder if you want as well.
I visited relatives in Poland recently and ate Bigos at every opportunity. There were never two the same. One was even with chicken meat [definitely not my favorite] My mother always added some bay leaves but otherwise Polish sausage and pork hock were standard. I still try to use her recipe but somehow hers tasted better.
Can you freeze the left overs ?
Yes, it will improve flavour
My grandparents are polish and we eat bigos every christmas, I think you’re right every family has its own version. We don’t use that many types of pork, instead we add some beef cut up in squares, as well as cubed apples instead of prunes or tomato paste. I needs to be made a couple of days in advance as you want to color to change from caramel brown to a darker brown, that’s when its the best!
Mom was born just over the mountain from Poland in Eastern Slovakia. I had the same reluctance about dried prunes as a kid until she made pierogies ( pirohy) stuffed with cooked dried prunes or other fruits. These were very good desert type treats.
Blueberry pierogi with sweet cream is heavenly
I have Polish relatives so grew up eating Bigos. I’ve got a pot going at the moment using German bratwurst and english ale as ingredients, but it still tastes like good bigos. I think everyone who makes it develops their own recipe over time. Great with potatoes or crusty bread and butter, and of course a glass of Piwo. Na Zdrowie!
Today I made bigos based on your recipe and it made my Polish husband a very happy man. :) I used red wine instead of beer and added a lot more dried mushroom (trying to finish an old stash). I think the sauteing of the cabbage and mushroom really made a difference in the final taste. It’s interesting because the dish requires such a long cooking time (I pretty much cooked mine for 2-3 hours last night and again 2 hours today), so one would think the veggies do not need to be sauteed first. But it really gives the dish a more complex and rounded flavor. I’ll definitely be doing that from now on. Thank you!
Thank you very much for including a non-alcohol alternative! I come across so many delicious sounding recipes, but get discouraged when I see alcohol in the ingredients. I’m never too confident about just how much “cooks out”, and would like to know more about substitutions for common alcohols used for cooking.
Oh, my!!! This is amazing! I made the version with the beer (not the tomato sauce/paste). Then made two substitions to cut down on the fat a little bit… I used 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of the pork shoulder, and used turkey kielbasa and smoked turkey sausage. Can’t wait to try the left-overs. Will definitely be making this again. Thanks!
I’ve made this three times since you posted! Thanks so much for the recipe.
man, this made me homesick…..
Honestly, kudos on a great recipe, my Mum wouldn’t be ashamed of calling it her own.
We made this last night with the brined kraut, four kinds of pork (can you ever have too many?) and it was fantastic. Just the thing for a cold rainy Autumn evening.
Thanks for the recipe.
Made this last night. Man was it some kinda ugly but oh so tasty. It’s a keeper!
We tried this Polish Hunter’s Stew over this last weekend. It was excellent and very easy to make. I follow your recipes to the “T” and that makes it so much fun for someone like me learning my way around the kitchen. Thank you!