Spareribs and Sauerkraut

Pork spareribs cooked with sauerkraut, onions, white wine, and juniper berries. Classic German recipe!

Spareribs and Sauerkraut
Elise Bauer

Have you ever had spareribs and sauerkraut?

This is a dish that I've never had outside of my own home. My father claims that there are restaurants in Minnesota (where he grew up) that serve spareribs and sauerkraut. But I certainly have never seen them as a menu item here in California.

Too bad, too! This is a perfect dish for a cold winter day.

We serve them over boiled potatoes with ketchup. The sweet tang of the ketchup is a perfect complement to the savory spareribs and potatoes. Many people also prefer them served with mustard. Your choice!

Spareribs and sauerkraut 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

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 100 mins
Total Time 105 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings


  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds bone-in pork spareribs

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 large (28-ounce) jar (or 1 1/2 to 2 pounds) sauerkraut (refrigerated)

  • 1 cup dry white wine (like a sauvignon blanc)

  • Water

  • Salt and pepper

  • 10 juniper berries

  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds


  1. Brown the ribs:

    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.

  2. Sauté onions and garlic:

    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. Return the ribs to the pot.

  3. Add sauerkraut, wine, juniper berries, caraway seeds:

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

  4. Simmer until meat is falling off the bones:

    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.

Spareribs and Sauerkraut
Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
793 Calories
63g Fat
10g Carbs
41g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 793
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 63g 81%
Saturated Fat 18g 89%
Cholesterol 198mg 66%
Sodium 975mg 42%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 41g
Vitamin C 18mg 91%
Calcium 92mg 7%
Iron 5mg 27%
Potassium 789mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.