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German Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut

Nothing speaks to the flavors of a German dinner more than pork and sauerkraut.

This easy recipe for German Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut for the slow cooker brings the family to the dinner table with a minimum of effort.

German Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut in a bowl with an orange napkin.

 

 

As soon as the seasons change, my heart and taste buds travel to the flavors of Germany.

Although I’ve never been there, it’s on my bucket list of places I dream of going. However, with recipes like Slow Cooker German Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut, I like to imagine myself already there. 

**Please Note – The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Crock Pot German Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut is available near the end of this post. OR click on the “jump to recipe” button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.

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Title text vertical image of pork ribs and sauerkraut in a bowl with an orange napkin and fork in the background

The ingredient list:

  • Pork Country Ribs
  • Prepared Sauerkraut
  • Carrots
  • Onions 
  • Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • Canola Oil
  • Butter
  • Apple Cider
  • Allspice
  • Brown Sugar
  • Caraway Seeds
  • Salt and Pepper

Why this recipe works:

For this recipe of German Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut, I used pork country ribs because they were on special at my grocery store. If you’re familiar with country ribs, then you know that they tend to have a bit more fat than baby back ribs.

What I like about country ribs for the slow-cooker is that as the ribs cook, the fat slowly melts into all the other ingredients in the cooker, imparting everything with that great pork flavor.

If you’re worried about this dish being greasy or fatty tasting, no worries. The acidic bite of the sauerkraut cuts through the fatty pork, and along with the sweet from the apple cider, balances all the flavors nicely.

However, if you’d like to use pork spare ribs for this recipe, go for it!!

 
 

 

Is there a trick to getting the MOST flavor from this slow cooker meal?

  • Yes!
  • To give this German Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut for the slow cooker the most flavor possible, I encourage you to spend the time in preparation to brown the country ribs on all sides before adding them to the cooker.
  • Also take the time to cook down the onions, mushrooms, and cut carrots to intensify their flavor.  
  • Adding apple cider added to the pan will deglaze the pan and get up all the stuck on brown bits (fond) from the bottom of the pan imparting even more flavor to the sauce before adding it to the cooker.

What is sauerkraut, and is it good for you?

  • Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage.
  • During the fermentation process, beneficial probiotics are produced making sauerkraut great for gut health.
  • Sauerkraut is also a great source of fiber, vitamins C, K, potassium, calcium, and phosphorous.
  • Sauerkraut also produces lactic acid.

For more of sauerkraut’s health benefits, please check out the following video from Dr. Eric Berg D.C.

Additional Kudos Kitchen German Recipes

I think you'll also enjoy these other German-inspired recipes.

Closeup of German Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut with mushrooms and carrots

The easy instructions for making Crock Pot Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut:

  • In a large skillet, brown the seasoned (salt and pepper) ribs on all sides in the oil over medium/high heat. 
  • Add the ribs to the slow cooker.
  • In the same skillet, add the butter to the skillet and saute the mushrooms and onions, stirring occasionally, until the onions are limp and slightly golden (approximately 5 minutes).
  • Season the mushrooms and onions lightly with salt and pepper. Stir.
  • Add the sauteed mushrooms and onions to the slow cooker along with the browned ribs.
How to make German Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut for the slow cooker photo tutorial.
                                    
  • Add the sliced carrots to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the apple cider, brown sugar, and the allspice to the skillet, making sure to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Carefully pour the contents of the skillet into the slow cooker.
How to make German Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut for the slow cooker photo tutorial.
  • Add the prepared sauerkraut to the cooker and lightly stir to combine.
  • Cover the cooker and set for 6 hours on low, or 4 hours on high.
  • Spoon the German Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut onto a plate or bowl, and enjoy!
How to make German Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut for the slow cooker photo tutorial.
 
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]German Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut in a bowl with carrots and mushrooms  
 

Make this delicious dinner year-round!

Even though this German Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut is a favorite for Oktoberfest, please don’t feel like you have to wait until the end of the year to enjoy this tasty meal.

This is also a terrific dish in the spring and summer as well. Especially when you don’t want to heat up the house by turning on the oven, but you’re still looking for some food comfort but without all the heat!

This recipe for German Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut for the slow cooker has become one of the most popular recipes on my blog.

It’s comforting, easy to make, and completely delicious! If you’re a fan of German flavors, I do hope you’ll try this recipe, and then come back and let me know what you think.

Closeup of German Pork Ribs an Sauerkraut with orange napkin and fork.
 


Title text vertical image of pork ribs in a yellow bowl with sauerkraut, carrots, and mushrooms.

 

Below is the printable recipe card along with the nutritional information for today’s German Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut for the Slow Cooker.

 
Yield: 6 people

Slow Cooker Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut

Slow Cooker Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut

German Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut for the slow cooker with carrots, and onions. A delicious German meal with minimal hands-on preparation time.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds pork country ribs, cut into 5" pieces, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil, or other light colored oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, rough chopped
  • 6 ounces baby Bella mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks or batons
  • 1½ teaspoon coarse salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 cups apple cider, or apple juice
  • 1½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 jar (32-ounce) sauerkraut with caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Brown the pork ribs in 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium/high on all sides. Once browned, transfer the ribs to a 6-quart slow cooker.
  2. Reduce the heat in the skillet to medium and add the remaining oil.
  3. Stir the onions and carrots into the skillet along with the apple cider, making sure to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Brink the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the brown sugar, caraway, allspice, mushrooms, and sauerkraut to the skillet. Stir well. Bring the mixture to a low simmer.
  6. Carefully spoon the sauerkraut mixture over the pork ribs in the slow cooker.
  7. Cover the slow cooker and set the timer for 6 hours on low. or 4 hours on high.
  8. Remove the lid from the cooker for the last 30 minutes of cooking for the sauce to thicken slightly.
  9. Remove the ingredients with a slotted spoon and pour over mashed potatoes or spaetzle to serve.

Notes

tools and equipment:

6-quart slow cooker, cutting board, chef's knife, large skillet, measuring cups, measuring spoons, vegetable peeler, slotted spoon

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1 grams

Amount Per Serving Calories 396Total Fat 23gSaturated Fat 6gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 119mgSodium 553mgCarbohydrates 15gFiber 1gSugar 10gProtein 29g

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Vertical title text image of German Pork Ribs in a bowl with carrots and sauerkraut
 

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Maya

Wednesday 1st of May 2019

This recipe was great, amazing flavor and the whole family loved it! Already had requests to make it again so it is for sure a keeper :)

Renée

Wednesday 1st of May 2019

That's wonderful to hear, Maya! Thank you so much!! Enjoy!

Noelle

Wednesday 1st of May 2019

WOW this was a great recipe, the flavors are so pronounced in it, high recommend!

Renée

Wednesday 1st of May 2019

Thanks, Noelle! So glad you enjoyed this recipe. It's one of my absolute favorites!!

Kelly

Wednesday 1st of May 2019

Pork and sauerkraut is such a great dish for cool, spring nights!

Renée

Wednesday 1st of May 2019

This is true. I also like to make this dish in the summer because cooking in the crockpot doesn't heat up the kitchen. Thanks, Kelly!

Justine Sulia

Tuesday 13th of October 2015

I have a serious soft spot for pork and sauerkraut. It is an annual tradition for us on New Year's Day! I think I'll be making this recipe before New Year's Day this year! Yum!

Nutmeg Nanny

Monday 12th of October 2015

Pork and sauerkraut is my favorite thing ever! We make it every New Year's Day for good luck :)

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