Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut for Oktoberfest

Nothing speaks to the flavors of Oktoberfest more than pork and sauerkraut. This easy Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut brings family to the autumn table with a minimum of effort.

Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut

As soon as the seasons change, my heart and taste buds travel to the flavors of Germany. Although I've never been there, it's on my bucket list of places I dream of going. Through recipes like this, I like to imagine myself already there.

Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut

For this recipe, I used pork country ribs because they were on special at my grocery store. 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. What I like about country ribs for the slow-cooker is that 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 flavor of the sauerkraut cuts through the fatty pork and balances all the flavors nicely.

Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut

To give this Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut the most flavor possible, I encourage you to spend the time in preparation to brown the country ribs on all sides before adding them to the cooker. I also took the time to cook down the onions, mushrooms, and cut carrots to intensify their flavor.  Adding apple cider added to pan to deglaze will get up all the stuck on brown bits (fond) from the bottom of the pan imparting even more flavor to the sauce before adding it to the cooker.

Servings:  6-8     Prep Time:  20 minutes      Slow-Cooker Time:  6 hours on high, 8 hours on low

3 pounds short ribs, cut into 5"-6" pieces, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 large sweet onions, sliced into half moons, or rough chopped
6 ounces mushrooms (your favorite variety, or optional), sliced into quarters
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced into large chunks or batons (batonnet)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups apple cider
1 teaspoon allspice
1 jar (32 ounces) sauerkraut with caraway seeds

-In a large skillet over medium/high heat, brown the seasoned pork ribs on all sides in the canola oil. Once browned, transfer the ribs to a 4 quart slow-cooker.

-Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter to the skillet. Stir in the onions and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally for approximately 5 minutes or until the onions become soft. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Transfer the onions and mushrooms to the slow-cooker over the browned ribs.

-Add the carrots to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Stir in the apple cider and allspice, making sure to scrape up the browned but from the bottom of the pan.

-Carefully pour the carrot and cider liquid into the slow-cooker over the ribs, onions and mushrooms.
Pour the jar of sauerkraut evenly into the slow-cooker. Set the cooker for your desired temperature (depending on when you want it ready), and cover. Half way through the cooking process, stir the ingredients, if possible, and recover.

-Remove the lid for the last 30 minutes of cooking so the sauce will thicken slightly. Using a slotted spoon, remove the contents of the pot to plates or bowls. *Note - this would be wonderful served over mashed potatoes or spatezle. 

Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut

Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut

Looking for more yummy Oktoberfest recipes? I just so happen to have several. Check out the ones below by clicking on the recipe title:


German Beef Rouladen


Pork Schnitzel


Thyme for Spatzle


German Meatballs Over Mashed Potatoes and Sauerkraut

The wine glass I've chosen to coordinate with the above Oktoberfest recipes is one that was a special custom order from an x-ray technician. The quote on the base of the glass is from Anna Bertha Roentgen, who was married to Wilhelm Roentgen (a physicist), from Germany. Wow, that's a long way for me to reach just to coordinate a wine glass to a recipe post.  But in all actuality the glass reminds me a little of Halloween, and since its October...all's fair, right? HeHe!

Tattoo and X-Ray Wine Glass

If there is ever anything I can paint for you, from glassware, to aprons, to tea towels, please don't hesitate to contact me or visit my shop on Etsy. Custom orders (like this one) are always welcomed and always encouraged. Together we give the gifts that people remember!

Kudos Kitchen by Reneé ~ Where food, art, and fun collide on a regular basis!

Custom painted aprons, glassware and tea towels

Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!

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