🤹‍♂️ Health goals slipping through your fingers? Get back on track with 1:1 health coaching
Printer icon

Bigos, a Polish Hunter’s Stew


Bigos is already true to Paleo way of life, without even modifying the recipe. It’s considered by many to be the Polish national dish. Traditionally, there was a pot with some bigos cooking almost in permanence. There is no strict recipe and variations are endless. Hunters use to come back from a hunt and would put the meat they brought back in the stew, making it a different stew every time.

One particularity of this dish is the use of sauerkraut and the sour flavor it gives to the stew. Sauerkraut is a favorite with Paleo mostly for the healthy functional bacteria in it, but in this case it will only be for taste because it’ll be heated and the bacteria will die. I recommend that you get in the habit of making your own sauerkraut at home for a fraction of the price of the bought version. If you decide to buy it for now, look for a real sauerkraut without vinegar in the ingredients. The sour taste should come as a by-product of the fermentation. Bubbies makes a great sauerkraut that is available in most health food stores.

The original recipe calls for kielbasa sausage, but substitute with another kind of sausage if you can’t find a good quality kielbasa without additives, sugar or other intruders. All the meats used can be substituted for what you have available, it’s the spirit of this stew.

Bigos Recipe


  • 1/2 medium cabbage;
  • 4 cups of sauerkraut;
  • 1 can tomato paste;
  • 1/2 lb bacon sliced;
  • 1 lb pork diced (any parts that can be sautĂ©ed is good);
  • 1 lb Kielbasa sausage sliced (optionally substitute with a quality sausage from your butcher);
  • 1 large onion diced;
  • 2 cloves garlic minced;
  • 1 bay leaf;
  • Optional salt and pepper to taste;


  1. Cut your washed cabbage in thin slices and boil until tender in a pot.
  2. Boil the sauerkraut in another pot in about 2 cups of water. Strain and keep the sour water aside.
  3. Sauté your diced pork in a pan with some cooking oil (lard, coconut oil or butter are good), then set aside.
  4. Sauté the bacon and sausage with the onion and garlic.
  5. In a large pot, combine the cooked cabbage, sauerkraut, sour water, tomato paste, spices and your cooked meats, onion and garlic.
  6. Let simmer for about 1 hour.
  7. Enjoy with your family and friends!
Photo of Ashley Noël

Hi I’m Ashley, I’m an ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach

Get coaching around:

  • transitioning to a Paleo diet
  • reaching your fitness goals
  • getting through those hurdles
    • limiting sugar, gluten, carbs
    • eating out
  • overall life satisfaction

I can’t wait to help you make lasting lifestyle changes