Crock Pot Pork and Sauerkraut comes to my mind like a warm hug on a chilly evening. The memories of my many visits to Bavaria flood back to me, where the succulent pork and tangy sauerkraut left a lasting impression on my taste buds.
The pork is cooked to perfection in a slow cooker, with a symphony of spices and herbs that play harmoniously together to create a rich, flavorful dish that's truly mouthwatering. The sauerkraut is cooked with care in the slow cooker, so that it retains a slight crunch and a perfect balance of sour and savory notes.
If you're looking for a meal that will transport you to a cozy German Gasthaus, look no further than this Crock Pot Pork and Sauerkraut. Serve it with a side of creamy mashed potatoes or hearty boiled potatoes and you'll be in for a truly satisfying and comforting culinary experience.
If you came here to look for ideas for your Oktoberfest inspired dinner, check out my Oktoberfest recipe collection. This collection is bursting at the seams with all sorts of delicious treats that will make your mouth water.
From savory starters to hearty entrees and delectable desserts, I've got a little something for everyone. Whether you're looking for classic Oktoberfest dishes or my fresh take on traditional favorites, I've got you covered. So, take a look, pick your favorites and let's get cooking, it's time to raise a stein and toast to good food and good company!
What is this dish called in German?
The German name for this dish is "Schweinebauch mit Sauerkraut". "Schweinebauch" means pork belly and "Sauerkraut" is a German word that is used in English.
How to pronounce "Sauerkraut" in German?
Listen to this audio file to hear how to say "Sauerkraut". Das Sauerkraut (n/singular)
How to pronounce "Schweinebauch" in German?
Listen to this audio file to hear how to say "Schweinebauch". Der Schweinebauch (m/singular).
Ingredients & Substitutions
Sometimes the best recipes only need a few ingredients, like this one.
Pork Meat - When it comes to this dish, pork belly is one of my favorite cuts. I prefer smoked pork belly, but this is difficult to find where I live. Depending on your preferences, you can use many other pork cuts for this recipe. Here are some examples:
- Pork shoulder
- Pork belly
- Pork loin
- Pork spare ribs
- Pork tenderloin
- Pork neck
- Pork schnitzel
- Pork belly roast
- Pork leg
- Pork ham
- Pork roast
I recommend cutting larger cuts into slices, as the juices from the sauerkraut can penetrate the meat better that way and will make it juicy and super flavorful.
Sauerkraut - German sauerkraut and American sauerkraut may seem like cousins, but trust me, they're as different as a bratwurst and a hotdog.
German sauerkraut is made with cabbage that's finely shredded and fermented with salt and a variety of spices. This fermentation process can take several weeks and results in an aromatic, flavorful sauerkraut with a lot of health benefits.
On the other hand, American sauerkraut is also made from cabbage that is finely shredded, but often made with vinegar. The fermentation process is way shorter, it is usually pasteurized and it has a distinctive tangy flavor and tastes simply "sauer".
Spices - This dish only needs a handful of spices. Juniper berries, bay leaves, caraway seeds, salt, pepper, and optional brown sugar are all you need.
Kümmel aka caraway seeds in sauerkraut are like the secret agent of digestion. They sneak in, stimulate the stomach acid production, ease any discomfort and bloating, and give the sauerkraut a delicious flavor and aroma. It's like they're a superhero team, fighting for the better digestion of your sauerkraut. So, go ahead and enjoy that sauerkraut and bratwurst with a side of caraway seeds and thank them for making your digestion process a smooth and flavorful one.
Sometimes it can be challenging to find juniper berries in your local supermarket. Just omit them, your dish will still taste wonderful.
Onion & Apples - The finely cubed onion and apple pieces elevate the flavor of this German sauerkraut. If you don´t like the addition of apples or onions, you can just omit them. If you love garlic, make a batch of my convenient and budget-friendly homemade garlic paste and add a teaspoon to this slow cooker dish.
Apple Cider and Beer - To cook this sauerkraut crock pot dish to German perfection, add an aromatic flavor boost of either apple cider or beer. Both help in combination with the vegetable broth to simmer the pork and sauerkraut to a divine flavor experience.
See recipe card for quantities.
Follow these simple steps and to conjure this German-style sauerkraut Mahlzeit (meal) with very little work. The prep only takes 15 minutes! It's so easy and convenient, you'll be wondering why you haven't been making it all along!
Step 1: First, start by prepping the ingredients. Peel and cube one onion and a couple of small apples.
Step 2: Next, set your crock pot to high and add some butter, the onion, and apple cubes. Then, lay the pork belly slices on top and add the sauerkraut and the spices.
Step 3: Let it cook covered for 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low.
Step 4: Once it's done, mix some corn starch with water, add it to the crock pot and give it a good mix. Cook for another 2 hours on high or another 4 hours on low.
Finally, remove the bay leaves and juniper berries before serving, and enjoy your delicious Crock Pot Pork and Sauerkraut! Guten Appetit!
To make this sauerkraut dish, you only a few kitchen tools.
- cutting board
- kitchen knife
- crock pot
- cooking spoon
- small bowl and a small spoon to mix the corn starch with the water
Leftovers can be stored for several days in the refrigerator. This German sauerkraut and pork dish is actually one of these dishes that taste even better after reheating.
The dish also freezes very well and tastes best if reheated in a pot instead of the microwave.
How to Serve
Schweinebauch mit Sauerkraut is traditionally served with mashed or boiled potatoes that complement the flavors of the pork and sauerkraut perfectly.
Crock Pot Pork and Sauerkraut
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 large onion
- 2 small apples
- 2 pounds pork belly
- 2 jars German style sauerkraut
- 1 tsp. caraway seeds
- 5 juniper berries
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 ⅔ cups apple cider or beer
- 1 ⅔ cups vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 tbsp. corn starch
- 2 tbsp. cold water
- Peel the onion and cut into small cubes.
- Peel and core the apples and also cut them into small cubes.
- Set the crock pot to high and add the butter, onion and apple cubes to it.
- Place the pork belly slices on top and then add the sauerkraut.
- Add the caraway seeds, bay leaves, juniper berries, vegetable broth, and apple cider or beer.
- Season with brown sugar, salt and pepper and cover with the crock pot lid.
- Cook on high for about 2 hours or for 4 hours on low.
- Mix the corn starch with water, add to the crock pot and mix well.
- Cook for another 2 hours on high or another 4 hours on low.
- Remove bay leaves and juniper berries before serving.