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  • Polish Mama Cooks

How to make a Bigos in a slow cooker? And save time.

Bigos in English called Hunter's Stew is one of the most traditional Polish dishes. Full of flavors of traditional polish sauerkraut, kielbasy (sausage), dry mushrooms it is the most comforting Polish food.

Bigos is such a great dish, for many reasons. For once you can add all the leftovers that you want to it, scraps of meat or ends of vegetables. Secondly, you can make a lot of it, freeze it in portions and eat whenever you feel like hunter's stew. And thirdly, it gains more flavor the longer it sits and is reheated, so you can prepare it one day and then eat it the next without feeling that you are eating something old.

Bigos also has one fallacy, it takes a lot of time to cook and you have to take care of it throughout the whole process. That is why I would like to share with you this recipe for bigos made in a slow cooker. After you prepare all ingredients and put them together you are done! The rest is done by a crockpot and you can just go and relax.



Ready in 9h

Preparation: 20-30 min

Cooking: 8h min

serves A LOT of people


  • 1/2 cup of dry mushrooms - soaked in water

  • 2 pounds Sauerkraut (can be with carrots)

  • 1/2 fresh shredded cabbage

  • 8 oz of bacon (chopped into small pieces)

  • 1 big polish or hunter kielbasa - sausage (slices into one 1 inch slices)

  • 1 onion (chopped finely)

  • Rack of pork ribs

  • the water from soaking the mushrooms (about 1 cup)

  • 1/2 cup of red wine

  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock

  • 1 tbsp of olive oil

  • 15 dry plums (prunes)

  • salt & pepper

  • 1 tbsp marjoram

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 4 allspice

  • 1 tbsp of garlic powder

  • small can of tomato paste

  • 1 Crock pot- Slow cooker


  1. Start by soaking in water dry mushroom, the best is to leave it overnight or leave it for at least 3-4 h. In a small saucepan, place the mushrooms and pour cold water- so all the mushrooms are covered. There should be about twice as much water as mushrooms.

  2. In the morning or after min. 3 h simmer them for about 20- 25 min, until they are soft. Take them out of the water (do not pour out the water), let them cool down and cut into small pieces.

  3. Place the sauerkraut in the slow cooker, before you do that try it and see it is not too sour or too salty. If it is, put it in a strainer and rinse it once or twice to wash off the extra saltiness or sourness.

  4. Shred the fresh cabbage into thin slices and add it to the slow cooker. Mix both cabbages together.

  5. On a frying pan cook the sliced bacon for a few minutes until the fat melts, and add it to the mix of cabbages. On the same frying pan sear the sliced sausage and next fry the chopped onion, add both to the crock pot. Mix everything together.

  6. Cut the ribs into small pieces - not bigger than two ribs together, pour olive oil into a frying pan and on high heat sear all of them for about 2 min. on each side. Place them with the mixture in the cooker.

  7. Add all the liquids (water from the mushrooms, red wine, chicken stock); the chopped mushrooms and prunes, mix everything (there will be a lot of it), and add all the spices - salt & pepper (to your taste), marjoram, bay leaves, all spice of garlic powder.

  8. Add all the can of tomato paste, close the slow cooker and put it on 8h slow. Enjoy it with a piece of bread!



  1. Add salt to your taste- the sauerkraut might be very salty so make sure to try it.

  2. While searing the ribs remember to make sure that the pan has to be hot.

  3. You can also add shredded carrots, thin slices of apples and polish smoked prunes.


LOVE CABBAGE AND SAUERKRAUT here are few links for amazing recipes:


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