BEST HOMEMADE BIGOS RECIPE – one of my tested, traditional home recipes. You’ll fall in love with the flavor of this classic Polish dish, eaten as both a holiday dish and an everyday one. It’s a common practice to make it in big batches, just a small serving fills you up so it’ll last you for days and with each day the flavor keeps getting better as you heat it up! This recipe has been in my family for decades now ?



  • 2,5 kg/5,5 lbs sauerkraut
  • ½ head of white cabbage (around 1 kg/35 oz)
  • 500 g/17,5 oz smoked bacon
  • 1 kg/35 oz boneless or pork shoulder
  • 500 g/17,5 oz beef
  • 4 sticks of kielbasa (preferably podwawelska)
  • 4 onions
  • fistful of dried mushrooms
  • approx. 15 dried plums
  • fistful of raisins
  • 4 apples
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 100 g/3½ oz tomato puree
  • approx. 5 tbsp lard
  • 4 Bay leaves
  • 6 Allspice berries
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 1 tbsp marjoram
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried lovage
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • approx. 1 glass of dry red wine


  1. Drain sauerkraut from liquid, chop it roughly and throw into a large pot. Pour water over it (around 50 oz/1,5 l). Shred the white cabbage and add it into the pot.
  2. Peel and cut the onion into half-slices, slice kielbasa. Then, fry them all over 2 tbsp of lard until they start to brown and move everything to the pot. Roughly cut the beef and pork shoulder and brown them as well over another 2 tbsp of lard (use the same pan for extra flavor from previous ingredients), then add the meat to the rest.
  3. Slice smoked bacon. Peel the apples and cut them into quarters. Blanch and peel tomatoes, then also cut them in four. Add all those ingredients to your bigos, then follow up with bay leaves, allspice, juniper berries, raising, dried mushrooms and plums.
  4. Bring the water to boil and simmer everything over small heat for around an hour, stirring occasionally (you can start earlier, after adding onion or meat to the pot, just remember to stir sometimes so you don’t burn it while preparing other ingredients) Add a glass of wine not long after adding last ingredients.
  5. By the end of previous step, add tomato puree and remaining spices: salt and pepper for taste, sweet paprika, marjoram and lovage. Mix everything and continue cooking over small heat until everything softens.
  6. In my case bigos was ready after 4 hours. It’s ready for serving right away but can be kept for few days, in which case heat it up for around 30 minutes in a pot over small heat before serving. Safest way to store it is in jars that you then sterilize through pasteurization.

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