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Pressure Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut

Pressure Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut

Pressure Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut

It’s New Year’s – time for Pork and Sauerkraut.

I’m an American mutt, with German and French in my family tree. Maybe that explains why pork and sauerkraut is a favorite of mine. It pulls my whole family history together. 2

Choucroute Garnie is the traditional dish of Alsace, the section of France that sticks into Germany. Alsace switched back and forth between Germany and France during the wars between the 13th century and 20th century. When the Germans won the war, the border was the Vosges mountains to the west of Alsace; when the French won the war, the border was the Rhine river to the east. Alsatian cuisine represents that blend – it is a lot heavier on the sauerkraut than the rest of France.

Now, the full-on version of Choucroute Garnie is delicious, and worth all the work. Sometimes I need a sauerkraut fix, though, so here is my short-cut version, using the pressure cooker. (No pressure cooker? No worries. See the Notes section for stove top directions.)

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut

Adapted From: Lorna Sass Pressure Perfect


  • 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (larger is better – this recipe barely fit into my 6 quart Instant Pot Electric PC)
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Pressure Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 46 1x


Pressure Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut recipe – spareribs braised in sauerkraut in a pressure cooker.


  • 1 slab spareribs, cut into 3 rib sections
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 pounds sauerkraut, rinsed & drained (preferably fresh sauerkraut from the refrigerated section of your grocery store)
  • 2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup dry Riesling (or any dry, non-oaky white wine)
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and minced (preferably tart apples like a granny smith)
  • 1 cup homemade chicken stock, or water
  • 1 pound smoked ham hock

Condiments and side dishes

  • Assorted mustards (Dijon, horseradish, and grainy mustard are my favorite choices)
  • Cornichons (French style gherkin pickles)
  • Rye bread
  • Boiled white potatoes sprinkled with salt and parsley


  1. Prep the Pork and Sauerkraut: Sprinkle the pork ribs with 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon brown sugar, then set aside to rest. Rinse the sauerkraut in a large colander, then press down on the sauerkraut to squeeze out the excess water.
  2. Saute the Aromatics: Heat the 2 tablespoons of lard in the pressure cooker pot over medium high heat until it melts. Add the onions, garlic, juniper berries, and bay leaves. Sprinkle with the pepper, coriander, and salt, then stir to coat with the fat. Saute until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Fill the pot: Add the Riesling to the pot, and bring to a boil. Stir in the sauerkraut, apples, and chicken stock. Submerge the ham hock and the ribs as much as you can in the sauerkraut.
  4. Pressure cook the pork and sauerkraut: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker, bring it to high pressure, and pressure cook for 25 minutes. (30 minutes in an electric pressure cooker). Quick release the pressure. Carefully remove the lid from the pressure cooker, tilting away from you to avoid the hot steam.
  5. Mix and serve: Remove the ham hock and the ribs to a carving board. Discard the bay leaves. Shred the ham hock, discarding the bones and any large hunks of gristle, then stir the shredded meat into the sauerkraut. Cut the ribs into 1 bone serving pieces. Scoop the sauerkraut out of the pot with a slotted spoon, leaving behind most of the liquid. Serve, passing the condiments on the side.
  • Category: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
Prepping the ribs
Prepping the ribs
Saute the aromatics
Saute the aromatics
Stir in the sauerkraut and apples
Stir in the sauerkraut and apples
Add the ribs and ham hock
Add the ribs and ham hock
Pressure cook the pork
Pressure cook the pork
Ribs (and ham hock, ready to shred)
Ribs (and ham hock, ready to shred)
Stirring the shredded ham hock back into the pot
Stirring the shredded ham hock back into the pot


  • No pressure cooker? No problem. Use a large dutch oven, and follow the instructions through step 3. Then, instead of pressure cooking in step 4, cover the pot and put it in a 350°F oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the pork ribs are tender. Continue with Mix and Serve in step 5.
  • Boiled white potatoes: Peel 2 pounds of red-skin potatoes and cut into 2 inch pieces. Put in a medium pot, cover with water, and add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to a simmer, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Drain the potatoes, toss with melted butter, sprinkle with some parsley, and serve.

What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts:

Choucroute Garnie
Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut

Click here for my other pressure cooker recipes.

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Filed under: Pressure cooker


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Patricia says

    this was , in a word… Delicious!!!
    Keep the great IP recipes coming, as each one I’ve tried so far has been spot on! Thank you!! and Happy New Year to you and family!

  2. Wow! This is my favorite thing I’ve made in my instant pot. And the juniper berries are the secret ingredient. I’m going to make it again tonight but I’m going to add some pierogies to it.

  3. Greg says

    This recipe was mentioned in discussion over at Hip Pressure Cooking. So I came for a closer look.
    I am puzzled by “fresh sauerkraut”. To my understanding, sauerkraut is fermented cabbage and so by definition cannot be fresh. Can you clarify what you mean please.

    • Fresh sauerkraut means “from the refrigerated section of your grocery store”, as opposed to “in a jar in the aisle from your grocery store.”

      • Greg says

        Thanks for that Mike.
        The trouble is the second kind is all that is available to me down under. I’ll have to look into making it myself.

        • If all you have is store-bought jarred, go ahead and use it. Fresh sauerkraut is better, but jarred will still work with this recipe. (If you’re willing to make your own, it is far better than any store bought option.)

          • I agree with you 100%!

            The first time I made kraut, I was talked into it by friends. They always do things in a big way. They made 100 pounds and I made 50! When it was fermented’ we had canning day, and it was a long day.

            The next time I made 20 pounds and it was much more manageable. It was so delicious I decided not to can it, but just put it into quart canning jars and store it in the second refrigerator in the garage.

            I now do this about once a year, and when the supply is running low I keep my eyes open for sales on cabbage, so I can start up another batch….makes sense, a quart of refrigerated fresh sauerkraut in the market costs about $5.00, and that’s approximately what 20 pounds of cabbage costs when on sale! I think that makes about 10 quarts. Time-wise, the work only takes 2 mornings, one for prep at the start and one at the end to jar it up.

  4. Patrick M Mitchell says

    This is (a version of) my favorite Lorna Sass recipe. We’re in the process of moving so all my cookbooks are packed and this recipe was requested for Valentine’s Day dinner! So that’s why I’m here.

    As a point of geographical clarification, when the French won the war, the border was to to the Rhine river in the EAST, and when the Germans won, the border was to the Vosges mountains to the WEST. You have them reversed.

  5. FatLittleDog says

    Sounds great! Pork and sauerkraut are a frequent pairing at our house year-round. Just last night I did 2 thick chops, seared them, and finished them the oven. Then I did a quick braise of red onions, mushrooms and drained sauerkraut in an apple cider and sherry reduction. Finished it off with a little cider vinegar and butter. Keep the great ideas coming!

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