Slow Cooked Pork Hocks – Where Is My Spoon

Slow cook pork knuckle recipe

Video Slow cook pork knuckle recipe

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Slow-cooked pork hocks with sauerkraut, a classic German recipe perfect for cooking in the slow cooker.

Last week I gave you the recipe for the traditional Bavarian crispy pork coduchos or Schweinshaxe. Its main feature is that wonderful crusty skin. Today, I present to you another traditional German way of cooking knuckles: slow-cooked pork hocks with sauerkraut or Eisbein mit Sauerkraut.

While the first course mentioned is typical of southern Germany, these pork hocks with sauerkraut are typical of the northern part of the country. The dish is incredibly filling, comforting and satisfying. Not exactly healthy food, but so good! A real pleasure to be enjoyed maybe once or twice a year.

And if you want to try more traditional German recipes, you can start with this delicious German beef soup or Savoyard cabbage rolls. And have some Black Forest cake or Zwetschgenkuchen for dessert. Or learn how to cook sauerkraut or Bavarian sauerkraut to serve as a side dish for many other main dishes.

Why are pork hocks perfect for slow cooker?

Hocks or pork coduchos always need a long cooking time, whether you make them on the stove or in the oven. So why not throw them in the slow cooker, add a few more ingredients, and let the machine work its magic?

A few hours later, you’ll be rewarded with the tenderest meat you can imagine; it will fall off the bone and infuse itself with the taste of sauerkraut. Sauerkraut will also lose some of its spicy because it cooks for so long along with such a tasty piece of meat. The acrimony will still be enough to cut out the extreme richness of pork, making this dish a real pleasure.

What do you need?

Hocks or pig knuckles


  • They are the same, the end of the stem above the foot and ankle of the pig. The connective tissues melt during the cooking process, making the meat sticky and tender and adding flavor.
  • You will need 2 large pig hocks, a total weight of about 1.5 – 2 kg / 3.3 – 4.4 oz. This amount should be enough to feed four people.
  • Look for more fleshy pieces of the hind legs of pigs. Otherwise, you’ll have more bones and fat than meat. The front knuckles are normally used to make soup.
  • The knuckles should be fresh, uncured and smoke-free. If the label says ham hocks, then they are probably NOT what you need, as ham hocks are in brine.

Where to

find them?

If you’re in Germany, you’ll find them in butcher shops and most supermarkets. Otherwise, you may want to look into ethnic food stores (German, Italian, Eastern European) or try to get them from Asian butchers. It might be helpful to ask regular butchers and ask for them in advance.


  • Sold in a can, jar, bag or fresh from a barrel at the butcher shop
  • .

  • All types are delicious, the type of butcher may be the best, but the canned variety is also good, not to mention that it is more convenient, as it can be purchased well in advance and can be stored for years.

Where to buy it?

Look for German brands, such as Mildessa/Hengstenberg (Amazon affiliate link). Even if they may cost a little more, they’re worth it if you’re looking for genuine taste and texture. You can find these products in larger supermarkets, perhaps those with an ethnic food section, or in German/European/Eastern European food stores.

Other ingredients:

  • onions, apple, lard (or oil), sugar, meat or chicken broth, bay leaves, black peppercorns, juniper berries, cloves, and caraway seeds
  • .

  • Lard is traditionally used for this type of hearty dish, but you can easily replace it with vegetable oil
  • .

  • Use homemade or low-sodium broth. If the broth is too salty, the whole dish could be too salty; Sauerkraut is also quite salty.

How to cook pork hocks in the slow cooker?

  • Chop the onion and apple. Keep them separate.
  • Heat the lard in a large, thick-bottomed skillet. Cook onions over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes. (1)
  • Add the apple and continue cooking for 2 minutes. (2)
  • Sprinkle the sugar on top and let caramelize slightly for about 2 minutes
  • .

  • Add sauerkraut, a little salt and all other spices. Mix well. (3)
  • Transfer the kraut to the slow cooker. Pour the broth into the pot as well.
  • Rub pork hocks generously with salt and pepper. Nest them on top of sauerkraut.
  • Simmer for 7-9 hours, turning the hocks in half.
  • As for cooking times, be sure to read the instructions on the slow cooker. Newer machines tend to be faster than traditional ones, which still have a ceramic pot.

Cooking Pork


in a Pot

  • You can still cook these delicious pork hocks, even if you don’t have a slow cooker or want to reduce cooking time
  • .

  • Prepare sauerkraut as above, but do it in a large Dutch oven or in a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add all spices and broth.
  • Nest the meat on top.
  • Cover and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the meat is really tender, turning halfway. If you notice that there is very little liquid in the pot when turning the meat over, you can add a little more broth or water.

How to serve pork hocks?

Serve with sauerkraut and boiled potatoes. You can also serve them with German bread or potato dumplings (Semmelknödel or Kartoffelknödel). The dish can be served immediately or it can be reheated.

What to do with leftovers?

Leftovers can be reheated without any problem. Removing the bones and crushing the meat makes reheating even easier.

Mix leftover shredded meat (after removing fat) with spätzle or cooked pasta. If you also have leftover dumplings, cut them into cubes and reheat them with the meat and sauerkraut in a large skillet.

You can also freeze leftovers for 1-2 months. Thaw slowly and reheat properly before serving.

More pork and sauerkraut:

Sharing is caring! Culinary specialist with more than 10 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

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