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A hearty, smoky stew with kielbasa, bacon and sauerkraut to warm you up in cooler months

New-Style Polish Hunter’s Stew (Bigos Revisited)
Active time:45 mins
Total time:2 hours
Servings:6 to 8
Active time:45 mins
Total time:2 hours
Servings:6 to 8

Smoky and flavorful, this is a stew you’ll want to keep on hand when the colder weather hits. If you can’t easily find kabanos (a type of Polish sausage), you can swap in more kielbasa. When thinking about what wine to add, find an inexpensive bottle that you wouldn’t mind drinking.

Serve with rye bread and butter.

Antoni Porowski is more than ‘Queer Eye’s’ avocado hunk. With his new cookbook, he’s ready to prove it.

Storage: The stew can be stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

Where to buy: Kabanos, a smoked and air-dried Polish sausage, can be purchased at Eastern European grocery stores.


  • 1 cup (1 ounce) dried porcini or other mixed wild mushrooms
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch wide pieces
  • 1 pound kielbasa, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 pound Polish kabanos (see headnote) or other smoky dried pork sausage, cut into 1-inch thick slices, or an extra 8 ounces kielbasa
  • 1 pound boneless pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • One (1-pound) green cabbage, or savoy cabbage, halved, cored and cut crosswise into 1-inch wide strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 (32-ounce) jar sauerkraut, drained (4 cups)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh marjoram (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 3/4 cup pitted prunes (5 ounces), halved
  • Fresh dill fronds, for garnish

Step 1

In a small bowl, soak the dried mushrooms in the 2 cups of hot water.

Meanwhile, in a large Dutch over or another wide, heavy pot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon, stirring, until golden and crispy, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a large plate. Add the kielbasa and kabanos, if using, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the slices are browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the sausage to the plate with the bacon. Add the pork loin to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer the pork to the plate with the bacon and sausages.

Step 2

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion to the fat in the pot; cook until softened slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook until the vegetables are softened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, lift the mushrooms from the soaking liquid and transfer to a plate. Reserve 1 cup of the liquid.

Step 3

Stir 1/2 teaspoon of salt into the cabbage mixture, then add the sauerkraut. Make a well in the center of the pot, add the bay leaves, marjoram, allspice, drained mushrooms and meat mixture and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the beef broth, wine, prunes and reserved mushroom broth and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the stew is at a gentle simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, getting into the edges of the pot with the spoon, for 30 minutes.

Step 4

Uncover and continue to cook until the liquid has reduced and thickened, about 45 minutes more.

Remove and discard the bay leaves. Garnish with the dill and serve hot.

Adapted from: “Antoni in the Kitchen” by Antoni Porowski with Mindy Fox.

Tested by Olga Massov; email questions to

Scale and get a printer-friendly version of the recipe here.

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The nutritional analysis is based on 8 servings.


Calories: 530; Total Fat: 30 g; Saturated Fat: 11 g; Cholesterol: 130 mg; Sodium: 1690 mg; Carbohydrates: 22 g; Dietary Fiber: 6 g; Sugars: 9 g; Protein: 33 g.