Bigos (Polish Hunters Stew)

Bigos (Polish Hunters Stew)

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  • 75g/3oz smoked bacon lardons

  • 500g/1lb cubed pork

  • 1 onion, sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 200g/7oz polish sausage such as wiejska, skinned and sliced

  • 1 can chopped tomatoes

  • 450ml/3/4 pint chicken stock

  • 150ml/1/4 pint red wine

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 tsp caraway seeds

  • 500g/1lb potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 500g/1lb Bramley apples, quartered, cored and sliced in half

  • 175g/6oz cabbage, cored and sliced

  • salt and ground black pepper

  • rye bread and sour cream to serve


  • There are an estimated 500,000 Polish people currently living in the United Kingdom, with many living in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester. In recent years there has been a notable increase in Polish food shops, bakeries and delicatessens. Polish cuisine is a mixture of Slavic culinary traditions and is often rich in meat, winter vegetables and spices. This version of a traditional Polish dish incorporates the Bramley apple, which has been embraced by Britain’s many Polish guests.
  • Bigos is considered by many to be the national dish of Poland and, as such, has many variations around the country and from family to family. Some recipes use sauerkraut or pickled cabbage. We’ve used fresh cabbage for extra colour. It’s important not to stir the stew too much as it simmers or you will break up the potatoes and apples. Serve it in bowls with rye bread to mop up the delicious juices.
  • Heat a large saucepan, add the bacon and sauté for 4 minutes until the bacon is crisp and the fat has run. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate. Add the pork, onion, garlic and sausage to the bacon fat in the pan and sauté for 5 minutes
  • Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Season well, with plenty of ground black pepper and just a little salt (the bacon and sausage add their own salt)
  • Cover and simmer for 50 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Serve ladled into bowls with rye bread

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