Hunter's Casserole

    3 hours 30 minutes

    "Bigos" as it is known in Poland is a traditional casserole that uses pork, kielbasa and sauerkraut. It is rich and filling and not very hard to make.

    34 people made this

    Serves: 10 

    • 2 thick slices hickory-smoked bacon
    • 500g kielbasa sausage or other Polish sausage, sliced into 1cm pieces
    • 500g cubed pork
    • 1/4 cup (30g ) plain flour
    • 3 cloves garlic, diced
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 2 carrots, diced
    • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
    • 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
    • 500g sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained
    • 1/4 cup (60ml) dry red wine
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
    • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 pinch ground black pepper
    • 1 pinch caraway seed, crushed
    • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
    • 125g dried mushrooms
    • 1 dash hot chilli sauce
    • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
    • 5 cups (1 1/4 litres) beef stock
    • 2 tablespoons tinned tomato paste
    • 1 cup tinned diced tomatoes

    Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:3hours  ›  Ready in:3hours30min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
    2. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon and kielbasa. Cook and stir until the bacon has rendered its fat and sausage is lightly browned. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat and transfer to a large casserole dish or Dutch oven.
    3. Coat the cubes of pork lightly with flour and fry them in the bacon drippings over medium-high heat until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pork to the casserole dish.
    4. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, fresh mushrooms, cabbage and sauerkraut. Reduce heat to medium then cook and stir until the carrots are soft; about 10 minutes. Do not let the vegetables brown.
    5. Deglaze the saucepan by pouring in the red wine and stirring to loosen all of the bits of food and flour that are stuck to the bottom.
    6. Season with the bay leaf, basil, marjoram, paprika, salt, pepper, caraway seeds and cayenne pepper; cook for 1 minute.
    7. Mix in the dried mushrooms, hot chilli sauce, Worcestershire sauce, beef stock, tomato paste and tomatoes. Heat through just until boiling. Pour the vegetables and all of the liquid into the casserole dish with the meat. Cover with a lid.
    8. Bake in the preheated oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours until meat is very tender.

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    Reviews in English (42)


    My exhusband is from Poland and made this often. I have made this recipe several times now and my sons say its better then their fathers. I followed the directions exactly the first time. Now I don't coat the meat. I just throw it all together on top of the stove at first browning the meat and then adding everything. I also use a bag of shredded coleslaw mix instead of chopping a carrot and cabbage. Works great! I just throw pork, beef or chicken in. Whatever I have or is on sale. I've never had this recipe turn out bad. We love it at our house!  -  08 Mar 2009  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    I am Polish and had bigos many many times. I have never seen wine as an ingredient of any traditional Polish dish - not in that climate! And Worcestershire sauce? Never even heard of it until I came to Canada. Also, no Polish cook I know would add basil or flour - it should be thick with veggies and meat but not murky. Also, potatoes are eaten with bigos on the side, mashed, but not as an ingredient. And never, never skip the caraway or tomatoe paste or mushrooms (dry mushrooms should be wild Boletus). Sourcraut is essential. So much for traditional bigos... If you are a vegetarian like I am, skip the meat - the dish is reach and tasty enough without it.  -  07 Mar 2011  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    Um, it's a very generic, salty dish that doesn't bear much of a similarity to the Polish hunter's stew, contrary to what others wrote below. As an authentic bigos, it should at least have 2 chopped green apples, a couple pounds of venison, shredded ham instead of bacon and pork, a couple of cubed potatoes, and no sauerkraut. You need to have a thick, rich, beautiful brown base. Napa cabbage should replace the sauerkraut so that it cooks down and soaks up the flavors, instead of making it salty. There is no "one" recipe for bigos, but it is a hunter's stew and it should be meaty and rich...and shouldn't be salty. This is a recipe for kiel and sauerkraut, not bigos.  -  15 Dec 2010  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)