Bigos (Polish Hunter’s Stew)

3It seems like a long time ago that I last cooked and blogged. Reality? I cooked and blogged last weekend. I had a long, stressful, emotional week punctuated with a mid-week jaunt to the vet emergency room after my little elderly dachshund suffered from such a severely bloated belly he couldn’t fit through his little doggy door. Though belly bloat is not often significant or terribly harmful when it happens to humans, it’s considered an emergency when it happens to a dog. In this instance, my guy was diagnosed with heart failure and given a few months to live. To read more about my dog, Odie, visit my new blog.

After he was diagnosed and I was finally able to bring him home, it took me about 24 hours to figure out his new medication routine he will have as long as he lives. And finally today, three days later, I’ve calmed myself down enough to be able to resume my life as is – for the most part. Which meant I was able to start cooking again. After the trauma experienced this week, I was craving something comforting. Stew seemed like it would do the trick.

This recipe is based on a recipe sent to me by my grandma. It appealed to me for several reasons. I love kielbasa and bacon. I’m Polish. I’m pining away for stew weather (when in reality it’s still in the high 70s and low 80s, much lower than the projected 90s we had for this week!).

I grabbed a bag of shredded cabbage and julienned carrots from Trader Joe’s this morning along with some Turkey Kielbasa. I wasn’t trying to make the stew “healthier” by using Turkey Kielbasa – Trader Joe’s doesn’t offer non-Turkey Kielbasa.


  • 1 medium head green cabbage
  • 1 c. shredded carrots
  • 12 to 16 oz. precooked kielbasa sausage
  • 2 T. butter, divided
  • 1 lb. bacon
  • 3 to 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 1/2  to 2 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 4 c. chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp. whole allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • ground pepper to taste


  1. Wash and shred cabbage. Put in a pot with shredded carrots and cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cut kielbasa into about 1-inch pieces. Brown in a large skillet with one tablespoon butter. Transfer to pot with cabbage mixture.
  3. In same pan, fry bacon. Drain excess fat, cool enough to handle and then cut into bite-size pieces. Add to pan with kielbasa. In same skillet, melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add mushrooms and saute until tender. Add onion and continue to cook until translucent. When onion is almost done, add garlic. Saute garlic with onions for the last 3 or 4 minutes.
  4. Add to cabbage mixture along with chicken stock, tomato paste and spices. Simmer, covered, over low heat for up to an hour. If you wish for a “thicker” stew, spoon a few ladles of the stew into your food processor or blender (avoiding any slices of kielbasa) and blend until smooth. Return to stew and incorporate. Let refrigerate overnight. Reheat the next day and serve with a big hunk of artisan bread.

Note: A large bag of shredded cabbage with carrots (for coleslaw) can be used as a substitute.

Recipe rating:  1/2


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sophie33 says:

    This stew looks freaking delicious! I want a big bowl right now! Thanks! 😃


    1. lefoodsnob says:

      Thanks, Sophie! The feedback I received from those who tried it is that is freaking delicious. 🙂


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