Bigos is a peculiarly Polish dish. It can be a simple snack purchased for unthinking quick consumption in any Polish café.

Essentially bigos or Hunters Stew is exactly that – a stew of sauerkraut, white cabbage and Polish meats. At its finest it is a glorious dish of immense subtlety of flavour and a matter of family honour and pride.

Because bigos is one of those rare dishes that positively thrives on repeated re-heating it never tastes exactly the same at any two servings even if one was actually to employ exactly the same recipe on every occasion.

It is a marvelously forgiving dish which, within reason, will allow you to adapt the recipe depending upon what exactly is to hand.

Bigos has a strong and all pervasive aroma which Poles find totally magnetic as it signaling as it does intense culinary delight and delightful sensory gratification.

My advice to any English friend who has not yet tried the dish is simple. Just ig- nore the smell and tuck in. Within seconds you will have forgotten the smell in the joy and revelation of the taste and amazingly the second time you come across the dish the aroma will have magically transformed itself into a total turn on!