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Bigos Recipe

annab 6 | 23
29 Jun 2006 #1
Bigos Recipe

1/2 medium green cabbage
1 liter jar of sauerkraut
1 medium can of tomato paste
1/2 lbs bacon
1 lbs pork
1 lbs (Polish) kielbasa
1 large onion
2 cloves of fresh garlic
bay leaf

Wash cabbage and chop very finely. Boil in a pot with a gal water until cooked and drain. Boil sauerkraut in a separate pot with 2 cups of water until cooked, drain to a clean container and save the sour water.

Wash pork meat and chop in about 1'' squares or so. Heat some vegetable oil on a saucepan and fry the meat until cooked.

Cut bacon and kielbasa also in small squares (about 1/3 of the meat chunks size since they won't shrink as much). Peal and finely chop the onion and garlic cloves. Fry bacon, kielbasa, onion and garlic together in a separate pan until golden brown.

Combine in a tall pot all precooked ingredients. Add tomato paste, spices, and saved earlier sour water to taste. Some people like it sourer, or some people like it more watery, so feel free to add more fresh or sour water if needed. Mix well and leave to stew for about 1 hour.

Taste it... you're good to go. Best served with fresh bread.

Bigos Picture
29 Jun 2006 #2
Best served with fresh bread.

... and cold beer of course :)
30 Jun 2006 #3
Especially the bread which you have pictured... remember to smother that bread with creamy rich butter... oh yeah! and as bigos said... cold beer of course!

Check out my post... (I would like to see more recipes please), just above this one. Maybe you can contribute a story, if you like...

FISZ 24 | 2,116
30 Jun 2006 #4
1 lbs pork

What cut......Center loin-Tenderloin-Loin Chop-Rib chop-cutlet?

Sorry to be so specific but there are different flavors in these cuts. Which is the one commonly use in PL for bigos?
OP annab 6 | 23
1 Jul 2006 #5
There really is no definition what cut to use for bigos even though people can have different preferences.

Most people would save the nice cuts like center loin, tenderloin, and cutlet for other dishes, for instance, kotlety schabowe, or roasts, which much better show the quality of cut than bigos. I usually use for bigos the parts from the blade area that contain more fat and are more suitable for stewing without getting too dry.
1 Jul 2006 #6
What cut......Center loin-Tenderloin-Loin Chop-Rib chop-cutlet?


I'm sure you didn't mean to, however, you seem to be scolding annab for not providing you with the A through Z minute details of this very unassuming dish... So, if I may, let me help you, if you don't mind.

If you stop and think about it, you would probably understand that this particular stew, has been around since God created mankind. It has been cooking in pots of every shape... with ingredients of every kind... with recipes from every mind. It's one of the many, many, many "perennial pot", stews. "Perennial pot", stews were stews that cooked continuously, without stopping. It was and still is, for the most part, very tribal!

Every time someone came back from, "the hunt", with the meat of the day, they dressed, whatever it was they caught and along with the herbs, tree bark, grubs, and other unmentionables, it was all thrown in the pot, which, by-the-way was huge... sometimes an occasional small child was thrown in... by mistake, of course. (just in case you don't know what dressed means... it does not mean that they put whatever it was that they caught in a suit of clothing... no, no, in fact, quite the opposite. It means that they skinned and removed the guts... however, sometimes they just burned off the hair and removed the guts and kept the skin... and then sometimes they didn't do anything... well, I'll let you come to your own conclusions on this one)...

FISZ, It doesn't matter what cut of meat you use... it matters only that you use some kind of meat... If you have it, usually, one would use the most flavorful, which would mean the cheapest cut... which would mean the fattiest with the bones still attached, so as to render the gelatinous flavors from them during the long stewing process...

Suffice it to say, any form of dead meat around the house or in the back yard or even the neighborhood, for that matter, will do... What cut of meat... are you serious? This particular recipe is rather tame but have you checked out the seasonings of some of the others, length of cooking time and the acid from the kraut, etc.? This stuff is supposed to cook for a minimum of several hours to several days... By the time you're ready to eat this concoction, you won't know what "cut of meat" you used... quite frankly, you wouldn't know if you had a dead cat or a dead rat in there... In fact, after eating this tasty stuff, you'll feel like a dead rat because your stomach will be making noises for days... Also, your friends will tell you to move to another town...
FISZ 24 | 2,116
6 Jul 2006 #7
You need to relax. I cook a lot and know that different cuts of meat provide different flavors. I don't cook Polish food and was just wondering wht is usually used by the Polish to make it as authentic as possible.

So, you don't have to write a book with your un needed explanation since she had already answered my question. Who asked you anyway?

Annab- thank you very much. I hope it turns out well :)

By the way Lamb shank was recommended :)
7 Jul 2006 #8
The point is - the food/meat must be of good quality. Then Bigos will be good even if cooked by inexperienced cook :)
FISZ 24 | 2,116
7 Jul 2006 #9
I hope it turns out well :) If not I'll wait a few days. They say it tastes better when eaten as leftovers
7 Jul 2006 #10
They say it tastes better when eaten as leftovers

There's something about that - they say bigos is better when older (so fresh bigos may not be as good as 1-2 days old).
rafik 18 | 589
8 Jul 2006 #11

I hope it turns out well If not I'll wait a few days. They say it tastes better when eaten as leftovers

its like with polish soups they always taste better the following day mmmniammm:)
FISZ 24 | 2,116
7 Sep 2006 #12
My bigos is the best!!! Not enough ingredients in this recipe.
krysia 23 | 3,058
7 Sep 2006 #13
I like mushrooms in mine.
polaca 1 | 76
8 Sep 2006 #14
I prefer christmas cabbage only with mushrooms :)
I dont like when it containes meat and pieces of sausages.
16 Oct 2006 #15
I like to use some meat with bones in it, I think it helps add flavor on browning. The cheaper pork chops are fine.

I use ham if I have any left over, otherwise I like a nice smoked pork butt (shoulder).

Veal bacon is a nice, less fatty alternative to the usual pork bacon.

Finally, I like whole canned tomatoes, cut up.

I'm kind of lazy, so I use one pot to cook everything in. As I finish browning/frying each ingredient, I reserve it to a big bowl, then add everything back at the end. I start with the bacon, then use the rendered fat to brown the other meats, etc. I don't bother cooking the cabbage or sauerkraut separately, just put it into the big pot with all the browned meats, onions, and garlic. I wash the sauerkraut thoroughly--I didn't do this once, and the result was very salty (I use the refrigerated sauerkraut that comes in a plastic bag).

I do boil potatoes on the side, to keep from overcooking them into mush.

I make a huge pot, and when it starts to run low, I replenish with appropriate ingredients, but not always the same meats.
bolo 2 | 304
16 Oct 2006 #16
Nice one, Polish Princess. Thanks! I'm sure you make a great cook ...:)
FISZ 24 | 2,116
16 Oct 2006 #17
I think that browning the meat with bones in it adds great flavor. I also stew it for 40 min with the sauerkraut, then remove the bones....then all together. I add a little red wine which also adds wonderful flavor :)
semper_malus - | 21
16 Oct 2006 #18
Which is the one commonly use in PL for bigos?

There is no one&only truly recipe for bigos. In every family, regions are differences. For one bigos without red wine is no bigos for another bigos withuot apples is not bigos. You almoust can't eat same bigos twice- like you can't go twice time to the same river :)
FISZ 24 | 2,116
16 Oct 2006 #19
There is no one&only truly recipe for bigos

Yes...this I've dicsovered to be true since I've asked those questions. Never made it with apples....maybe I'll have to try. Anyone ever made it with piwo?
semper_malus - | 21
16 Oct 2006 #20
I apologise.

Anyone ever made it with piwo?

Never heard. Bigos can be with plums too. I think exept of cabbage the rest ingredients is the matter of cooks fantasia. I heard that in english bigos goas as "the hunting stew" - when you go to hunting never know what take u will be have.

The history of bigos comes from the polish king (from Lithuania) Władysław (II) Jagiełło - the bigos was servt after hunt on his order - so at the beginning (to present time) bigos ingredients wasn't something regular.
FISZ 24 | 2,116
16 Oct 2006 #21
I apologise.

None needed :) Thank you though. I may have to try with the beer...never know could be good :)
Syrena_04 2 | 88
29 Oct 2006 #22
I was at my Polish teacher's house yesterday and she showed me how to cook bigos. Traditional bigos is made with wild game meat but this is what we did yesterday:

Day 1


5 or 6 small pieces of lard
2 medium onions
Cold cuts ends
Cooked chicken
Staropolska sauerkraut without carrots (very important)
6 or 7 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
commercial bigos seasonning
I think she also added 6 or 7 juniper berries
About one cup of wild mushrooms

Cut lard in small pieces and cook in large pot. Cut onions in small pieces and add to pot. Add cut meats. Add liquid from sauerkraut. Cut sauerkraut in smaller strands and add to pot. Add peppercorns, bay leaves and other seasonning. Cook on low heat for about one hour. Set aside to cool. (I left it on the counter overnight and it was fine this morning.)

Rince mushrooms well under warm water. Soak overnight in 2 cups cold water.

Day 2

Bring mushrooms in their soaking water to a boil and cook for about 30 minutes, adding water if necessary. Half cover with a lid.

Add water to bigos.

Pat mushrooms dry and chop. Add to bigos.

Cook bigos over a low heat for about one hour.

Day 3

Add 7 or 8 prunes, pitted and sliced; one apple, peeled and diced (a Cortland apple preferably); 2 tablespoons of tomato paste; and one glass of red wine.

Cook again one hour over gentle heat.

Leave outside for 2 or 3 days, providing the temperature is relatively cool (it is between 2 and 10 degrees Celsius here, these days), on a balcony or in a shed perhaps.

Then reheat and eat. You can freeze it also.

Hopes this helps.
FISZ 24 | 2,116
31 Oct 2006 #23
Many many many Bigos recipes :) none are right none are wrong :) The one above...for me? Not enough meat :)

commercial bigos seasonning ????? What the hell is this? The recipe is ok except for this ingredient. Never heard of pre packaged bigos flavoring.

Bigos flavor is determined by the ingredients you add yourself. This is an artificial flavoring that's not used in Poland and don't recommend it.

I have the ultimate recipe :)
Syrena_04 2 | 88
31 Oct 2006 #24
commercial bigos seasonning ?????

Noted. It surprised me too.
20 Jan 2007 #25
I just found from my Polish friend that a spoon of honey makes it even better.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,379
20 Jan 2007 #26
Add some red wine.
20 Jan 2007 #27
oh, yes
iwona 12 | 542
20 Jan 2007 #28
few prunes make it also quite tasty.
20 Jan 2007 #29
do you have to add prunes as i cant stand them (good for the digestive system though i guess)
20 Jan 2007 #30
I love them.
I don't think so, it's up to you. There are as many recipes as there are households i believe:)

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