Sauerkraut and Smoked Pork Stew

Bigos, or hunter’s stew, is one of Poland’s national dishes.

Sauerkraut and Smoked Pork Stew Sauerkraut and Smoked Pork Stew
Bigos, or hunter's stew, is one of Poland's national dishes.
Yield: serves 8


  • 14 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 14 lb. smoked bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 oz. fatback, cut into 1⁄2″ cubes
  • 12 lb. boneless pork butt, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 12 lb. smoked kielbasa, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 13 lb. smoked pork shoulder, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 6 whole allspice
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 6 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 4 lb. sauerkraut, roughly chopped; rinsed, if you like
  • 12 cup red wine
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley


  1. Put mushrooms and 1 1⁄2 cups water into a bowl; let soften for 1 hour. Drain and reserve water.
  2. Heat oven to 350°. Cook bacon and fatback in a large pot over medium heat until crisp, 8–10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Add pork butt, kielbasa, and pork shoulder and increase heat to medium-high; cook until browned, 12–14 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a plate. Add allspice, bay leaves, and onions; cook, scraping up browned bits, until softened, 8–10 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook until browned, 8–10 minutes. Add flour; cook for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauerkraut to pot. Cook for 12–14 minutes. Add mushroom water, bacon–pork mixture, wine, and stock; boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste; cover pot with foil and a lid. Braise in oven until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Divide stew between bowls and garnish with parsley.