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.