Spareribs and Sauerkraut

Spareribs with sauerkraut is something I’ve never had outside of my own home. My father claims that there are restaurants in Minnesota (where he grew up) that serve them. But I certainly have never seen them as a menu item here in California. Too bad, too. They are the perfect dish for a cold winter day, served with ketchup over boiled potatoes. This is a German dish; my grandmother made spareribs this way and my father makes them this way. I suppose if you’ve never had spareribs and sauerkraut, they don’t look particularly appealing – what with the different shades of gray. But believe me, they are wonderful, especially with the ketchup.

Spareribs and Sauerkraut Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6.


  • 2 1/2 to 3 lbs of bone-in pork spareribs
  • 2 Tbps vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large (28 oz) jar (or 1 1/2 to 2 pounds) of sauerkraut (refrigerated)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10 Juniper berries
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds


1 Separate the ribs, and sprinkle them with salt. Heat vegetable oil in a large heavy pot on medium high heat. Add the ribs and brown them. Remove the ribs from the pot and add the chopped onion to the pot. Sauté the onions for 3 minutes. Then add the minced garlic for a minute more.

2 Add sauerkraut and wine to the pot. Add just enough water to cover the ribs.  Add 10 juniper berries and a sprinkle of carraway seed to taste.

3 Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer until the meat falls off of the bones, anywhere from one to two hours. Remove the bones and juniper berries. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with boiled potatoes. Delicious with ketchup which creates a sweet contrast to the sour sauerkraut, or you can use whole grain mustard.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on Simply Recipes. Thank you!

Never miss a recipe!

Subscribe to Simply Recipes free via email:

Showing 4 of 79 Comments

  • Sheryl Crawford

    Hi….. I came across your site looking for a recipe for a beef shoulder roast. I needed to know how long to cook it. Anyway, I really have enjoyed looking through your recipes and plan to try them. I enjoyed finding your recipe for spareribs in sauerkraut because my mother made them as well. She learned from her father and they always put a peeled and chopped apple in the roasting pan with the ribs. Gives it a delicate sweetness and the apples pieces taste delicious. We love it. Thanks for your recipes…

  • Daisy

    I agree with Sheryl Crawford. During the depression we ate a lot of affordable Spareribs & Sauerkraut. Also,…there was a ground beef dish she made almost in the same way. It wasn’t creamed just boiled with onion and we ladled it with an open ladled spoon (no liquid) over a piece of bread….or she would add a potato to this boiled dish. Is there still that kind of recipe around? I remember that “simple” recipes always tasting good when I was a kid.

  • MsOktober

    When I was in Ohio a few years ago, we went into a pub that served lunch. Spareribs and sauerkraut was what they were serving that day ~ everyone was very happy to eat it up. It’s a regular lunchtime meal. The only thing that was different from your recipe is, they served it over mashed potatoes.

    I found it interesting they were eating this for lunch….and still had room for dinner later.

  • Elise

    Hi Sheryl – adding a chopped apple is a great idea, thank you.

    Hi Daisy – I don’t know about the dish to which you refer, but I’ll ask my father. If you come across the recipe, please let us know about it.

    Hi MsOktober – it has always seemed to me that they do things somewhat differently in the midwest than they do in California. I think my mom and dad found a place in Minnesota that served Sauerkraut and Spareribs, but I’ve never found it anyplace but at home.

View More Comments / Leave a Comment