Bigos (Hunter’s Stew), pronounced, “Bee-Gose” is a comfort food dish I grew up with that I always looked forward to and requested my Mother to cook for us around the holidays. It’s a dish my Mother ALWAYS made well, and it was always enjoyed by my whole family. It’s a cabbage and sauerkraut stew consisting of smoked meats or in my family’s case, always smoked Kielbasa sausage. As with any recipe I post on here, the recipe is one I make for my own family and possibly a variation on what you might be accustomed to. This Bigos hunter’s stew recipe has the flavor of comfort and home for me.
Bigos Hunter’s Stew Variations
As with any ethnic recipe I post on my site, if you’re familiar with a recipe, you might notice my recipe varies from others you might see online. My particular Bigos recipe here is now a family recipe my husband and I have developed over many years actually. Since my husband’s 1st taste of Bigos probably 11-12 years back, he’s wanted to document exactly what we do to cook it just right. Bigos is also the very 1st recipe my husband and I have ever documented for our family and kept on file before creating this site. Little did we know when we were cooking and documenting this recipe a few years back that we would actually start sharing our recipes with the rest of the world.
Variations of bigos include adding mushrooms, tomato sauce, bacon and other seasonings. Our recipe below has the taste of the delectable warm stew I grew up with. If I add or subtract anything from this recipe it just wouldn’t be the Bigos taste I know and love. It’s got a savory attraction that gives you that comfort food fix, the cabbage gives you a sweet undertone and the sauerkraut just balances it out to make it a true Bigos stew.
Smoked Sausage Factor
In my opinion Bigos is not extra special without a great smoked Kielbasa to create the base of this hearty stew. Our smoked sausage choice is one thing that is not consistent every time we make this dish. What is consistent though is our need for a great smoked Kielbasa to use in this dish. We try not to use regular grocery store bought sausage to make this dish. We prefer to use a good local sausage from an Eastern European market or even homemade Kielbasa, which my husband has made for this dish in years past and hopefully again in the near future.
You’ll find not only the flavor of a good local Kielbasa to be better, but the quality is ideal. It’s less greasy, without fillers and full of real good flavor to make your dish stand out. Plus, you’ll be supporting the local businesses which is a great thing as well.
Give this hearty warm sausage stew a try and let us know how you like it in the comment section below.