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German Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut

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

A vertical closeup of German Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut in a bowl with an orange napkin on the side along with a fork.

**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:

**Note – The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned

Kitchen tools and equipment needed:

How this recipe came to be:

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

Although I’ve never been there, Germany is 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. 

Why this recipe works:

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

If you’re familiar with country ribs, then you know that they tend to have a bit more fat on them than baby back ribs.

I like country ribs for the slow-cooker because the fat slowly melts into all the 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 taste of the sauerkraut cuts through the fatty pork and balances all the flavors nicely.

Watch the entire YouTube video:

The following was one of my first attempts at making a YouTube “cooking show style” video.

Never mind that I was very nervous in front of the camera and check out how good this recipe looks when it’s finished and ready to be eaten. 🙂

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

Yes!

To give these German pork ribs the most flavor possible, I encourage you to spend the time to brown the country ribs on all sides before adding them to the cooker.

Also, adding apple cider added to the skillet after browning the pork will deglaze the pan and pick up all the stuck-on brown bits (fond) from the bottom of the pan.

This technique will impart 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.

What are some of the health benefits of sauerkraut?

The step-by-step photo instructions for making slow cooker 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.
A closeup offset photo of a bowl of German Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut along with mushrooms and carrots.

Additional German-inspired dishes you’ll also love:

*German Knockwurst Sandwich (shown below)

This copycat German knockwurst sandwich is my version of a terrific sausage sandwich I’d had while on vacation in Northern Wisconsin.

Knockwurst Sausage Sandwich on a pretzel roll with a side sauce and chips.

*German Fried Potatoes (not shown)

Crispy on the outside and tender and fluffy on the inside. German Fried Potatoes are everything you want in a potato side dish…including the bacon!

*German Pork Schnitzel (shown below)

German Pork Schnitzel has a light lemony flavor and a crispy outside coating. When you want a memorable meal that can be made in minutes, this is the recipe to reach for.

German Pork Schnitzel on a platter with lemon wedges and fresh herbs

*German Bee Sting Cake (not shown, but featured in the video)

German Bee Sting Cake is a yeasted cake with a beautiful texture, fantastic honey flavor (hence the name), a beautifully caramelized almond topping, not to mention a thick, creamy vanilla filling.

*German Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut for the Slow Cooker (shown below) THIS IS THE PLACE!!

A vertical closeup along with a title text overlay graphic for German Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut in a bowl with carrots and mushrooms.
 

Below is the printable recipe card along with the nutritional information for today’s Crock Pot German Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut.

If you’ve made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I’d appreciate it if you’d take a moment to leave it a star rating in the recipe card, along with a comment if you’re so inclined. Thank you. 🙂

 

SLOW-COOKER GERMAN PORK RIBS AND SAUERKRAUT

Renee – Kudos Kitchen
This easy Slow-Cooker German Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut recipe brings the family to the autumn table with a minimum of effort and lots of delicious flavor!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 20 mins
Course Main Course, main course pork, Slow Cooker – Main Course
Cuisine German Inspired
Servings 8 servings
Calories 522 kcal

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 roughly chopped
  • 6 ounces baby Bella mushrooms halved or quartered
  • 4 large carrots peeled and cut into large chunks
  • teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper divided
  • 2 cups apple cider or apple juice
  • teaspoon allspice
  • 1 jar (32 ounces) sauerkraut with caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds optional
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Instructions
 

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

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 522kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 44gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 609mgPotassium: 1037mgFiber: 2gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 6037IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 85mgIron: 2mg
Keyword German pork ribs and sauerkraut, slow cooker German pork ribs and sauerkraut
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Recipe Rating




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 :)