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Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew)

December 19th, 2009 in Pork by
Total cooking time: 2h
Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew)

Bigos, as a cabbage and meat stew, is very popular second course dish in countries of East Europe. I believe it was originated in Poland, however recipes similar to polish bigos can be found in cuisines of Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine and maybe some others. In Poland bigos is traditional dish to be served on Second day of Christmas.

Ingredients for bigos vary, some of them may or may not include tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, onions, garlic, honey and even prunes; beef, veal, pork, bacon, smoked ham, smoked sausages or a combination of those.

However common parts for each bigos recipe are some kind of meat, white cabbage and sauerkraut.

I cook bigos (by the way it is called “solyanka” in Russia and Ukraine, even though there is a soup with the same name) with pork, a lot of cabbage (fresh and sour), carrots, onions, bay leaves and spice it with whole black peppercorns, just like it was always cooked in my family. Hope you will like it too.

Ingredients:


How to prepare, step-by-step:

  1. Prepare ingredients:
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 1
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 1
  2. Rinse pork meat under cold water and dry it up with paper towel. Dice meat into pieces with about 1.5” side and fry them over moderate-high hear in a skillet with sunflower oil. I usually split meat in to 2 potions and fry each one separately for about 10 mins, you don’t need to cook it through, just give it nice brown color:
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 2
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 2
  3. Put fried meat (and juice it produced!) to the big cooking pot (if you have cast-iron one, it is better to use it), add bay leaves and about 10 black peppercorns and season with salt. Cover cooking pot with a lid and put on low heat burning:
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 3
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 3
  4. Skin onions, slice them into half-circles. Warm up another skillet over moderate heat with sunflower oil, add onions to it and fry them over until they become soft (by using another skillet you will save some time by frying meat and onions in the same time):
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 4
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 4
  5. Skin carrots and grate them on big slots (you may also slice them into stripes if you like). Add carrots to the skillet where onions are and fry them for about 5 mins, stirring from time to time:
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 5
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 5
  6. Drain liquid from sauerkraut (rinse it with cold water before if it tastes too sour) and add to the skillet where onions and carrots are. Mix and fry vegetables together for about 10 mins:
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 6
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 6
  7. After then pour them to the cooking pot over the meat (keep the low heat under it):
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 7
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 7
  8. Shred white cabbage (depends of the cabbage you may use just part of cabbage head, the rule of the thumb is volume of braised white cabbage should be about the same as volume of sauerkraut). Again, warm up skillet with sunflower oil over medium-low heat, add shredded cabbage to it and braise it for about 15-20 mins until it gets soft, don’t forget to stir:
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 8
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 8
  9. Pour braised cabbage to the cooking pot and mix with the rest of vegetables (but not with meat!):
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 9
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 9
  10. Cover cooking pot with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for about 1 hour: meat should be soft but not over cooked, cabbage should be soft (adjust the cooking time if needed). Then turn the heat off and mix meat with vegetables:
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 10
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew) Recipe: Step 10
  11. Server Cabbage and Pork Bigos warm without side dish:
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew)
    Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew)
Enjoy!

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7 Comments on "Bigos (Cabbage and Pork Stew)"

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heather james

i am cooking this right now. also doing a veggie version. fake chicken pieces and water instead of pork and juices and reduce cooking time. wish me luck.

sonia

Why do u guys eat PORK? If u are a christian then you should know that Bible forbids people from eating pork.

I made this before I saw your recipe. The next time I try it I will add peppercorns, bay, garlic and carrots as you did.
My recipe called for it to be baked at 375 before adding the cooked pork (spare ribs), and I did a double batch with one in the oven and the othe on the surface. Am anxious to see how each turns out.
Thank you for your recipe.

Anna

Дуже і дуже смачно!
Я теж роблю бігос на свята, він вигідний тим,що від розігрівання стає ще смачнішим:)

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