Mom’s Treasured Bigos Recipe: A Heartwarming Tradition

Bigos Recipe:


  • 2 bags of fresh sauerkraut – squeeze juice out and rinse a little to leave as tart as you like.
  • One large sweet onion, chopped – fry in a little oil until very soft and clear.
  • 5-6 pieces of good quality bacon, cut up.
  • 1⁄2 lb (at least) of polish sausage, skinned and cubed.
  • 1⁄2 lb boneless stew beef, cubed.
  • 1⁄2 lb of polish ham, cubed.
  • Any other leftover meat – pork, venison, veal. Add as much meat as you like.
  • Handful of dried Polish mushrooms (or any wild mushrooms) – soaked and then cut up into small pieces.
  • 2-3 tablespoons of prune butter.
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  • 12 peppercorns (or fresh ground pepper).
  • White wine, to taste (start with 1 cup, add more as it cooks out).
  • Madeira or Marsala (not sweet) wine is best for flavor.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.


  1. Fry the meat, along with the bacon, and add the cooked onion.
  2. Put the sauerkraut in a large pot.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and the peppercorns (or fresh ground pepper).
  4. Add the cooked meats to the pot.
  5. Add the mushrooms (you can brown these too if you like).
  6. Mix in the tomato paste.
  7. Add white wine, starting with 1 cup. Keep adding to taste as it cooks out. Madeira or Marsala wine is recommended.
  8. If the liquid evaporates, you can also add water, although it’s not necessary.
  9. Mix in the prune butter.
  10. Stir well after each addition and cook over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Cook for about 4-5 hours.
  11. At the end, add more wine, salt, and pepper to taste.
  12. Reheating the dish makes it even better. Start a few days before New Year’s and reheat daily.

Enjoy your delicious Bigos, and cherish the memories of your mom and her passed-on recipes.

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