Baked Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut in the Oven

Baked Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut in the Oven

Cooking Pork Hocks and Sauerkraut: Oven-Baked Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut

My oven-baked pork knuckle with sauerkraut recipe is one of the most delicious pork hocks and sauerkraut recipes you’ve ever cooked at home. View the recipe and video below!

➡️ Searching for the best way to learn cooking pork hocks and sauerkraut recipes? Don’t look further because on this page you’ll discover how to make a pork knuckle with sauerkraut from scratch. Pork knuckle with sauerkraut is one of the classic dishes that Germans are crazy about. Most Germans and especially Bavarians have been eating this type of pork roast for centuries, and its popularity has not decreased even today.

➡️ During winter, food including ingredients like pickled cabbage and smoked pork is one of my kitchen favorites. There are many such food recipes that I cook in wintertime and one of them is especially appreciated by the whole family. This is a baked pork knuckle with sauerkraut.

➡️ My grandma used to cook German pork knuckle recipes since she was a Swabian (a German ethnicity) and my childhood was sprinkled with countless occasions when I ate this delicacy. Of course, I still prepare a pork hocks and sauerkraut recipe whenever I have the opportunity, especially during the cold season when you need more calories and rich food that warms and makes you feel good at the same time. My easy ham hock recipe helps you cook pork shank, ham hock, or pork knuckle in the oven with sauerkraut, red onions, and more simple and tasty ingredients.

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Cooking Ham Hocks and Sauerkraut in the Oven from Scratch

➡️ Like most traditional ham hock recipes, the one I’m sharing is simple and requires easy-to-find ingredients. Watch the cooking video below and learn how to make a pork knuckle with sauerkraut using a yummy and easy ham hock roast recipe from scratch.

Baked Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut in the Oven

Oven-Baked Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut

Oven-Baked Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut is a culinary masterpiece that showcases the rich and hearty flavors of Central European cuisine. This classic dish combines the tenderness of slow-roasted pork knuckle with the tangy and slightly sour notes of sauerkraut, resulting in a harmonious and satisfying flavor profile that has been enjoyed for generations.
The preparation of Oven-Baked Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut begins with selecting a high-quality pork knuckle, known for its succulent meat and crispy skin when cooked to perfection. The knuckle is typically boiled with a mixture of aromatic herbs and spices, such as garlic, caraway seeds, and black pepper, to infuse it with a depth of flavor.
Once boiled, the pork knuckle is slow-roasted in the oven until the skin turns irresistibly crispy, and the meat becomes tender and juicy. This slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, creating a delectable contrast between the crunchy exterior and the melt-in-your-mouth interior of the pork.
The sauerkraut, a fermented cabbage dish, is the perfect accompaniment to the pork knuckle. Its natural tanginess and earthy flavors cut through the richness of the meat, providing a refreshing and complementary element to the dish. The sauerkraut is often seasoned with additional ingredients like onions, apples, and white wine, adding complexity to its taste profile.
When the Oven-Baked Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut is finally presented, it's a feast for both the eyes and the palate. The golden-brown, crackling skin of the pork knuckle contrasts beautifully with the vibrant sauerkraut, creating an inviting visual appeal. Each bite offers a harmonious blend of textures and flavors, from the crispy skin to the succulent pork and the tangy sauerkraut.
This dish is often served with a side of creamy mashed potatoes or crusty bread, making it a hearty and satisfying meal that's perfect for a special occasion or a comforting family dinner. Whether enjoyed in a traditional Bavarian beer hall or homemade in your own kitchen, Oven-Baked Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut is a culinary delight that transports you to the heart of Central Europe with every delicious bite.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine German
Servings 10 servings


  • 50/1.5 (oz/kg) pork knuckle, smoked or not, to taste (I recommend smoked pork knuckle/ham shank/ham hock)
  • 110/3 (oz/kg) sauerkraut (sour cabbage)
  • 3 red onions
  • 3 garlic cloves or to taste (I use a header of garlic)
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • salt and black peppercorn to taste


  • put the pork knuckle in a tall pot, then add black peppercorns, salt, garlic, and bay leaves.
  • pour water into the pot, then place the pot on the stovetop over a low temperature.
  • boil the ham shank until it's partly tender (around 1-1.5 hours, depending on its size.)
  • meanwhile, chop the sauerkraut or sour cabbage coarsely if necessary and place it on a tray in a layer.
  • peel the onions off, chop them finely, place them over sour cabbage, and mix the ingredients.
  • when the knuckle is soft, pour a few ladles of the broth in which the ham hock has been boiled over the cabbage, so that the cabbage is submerged in the broth about three quarters.
  • put the pork knuckle over sauerkraut and cut it lengthwise on one side so that the bone side is down (in other words, butterfly it.)
  • pour a little oil over the ham and cabbage for better roasting, then put the tray in the oven.
  • bake the ingredients at 160 C/320 F until they are evenly browned, I recommend turning the shank and mixing sauerkraut gently every 20-30 minutes.
  • turn the heat off and leave the tray in the oven for 15-30 minutes to rest the food and soak up the juices (recommended.)
  • remove the tray from the oven, slice the ham, and serve it with sauerkraut as a side dish


Cooking Tips for the Best Results:

  1. Select the Right Pork Knuckle: When choosing your pork knuckle, look for one that is well-marbled with a good layer of fat and a sturdy bone. This combination ensures that the meat will remain juicy and tender during the extended cooking process. A fresh, high-quality knuckle is essential for achieving the best results.
  2. Pre-boil the Pork Knuckle: To ensure the meat is tender and fully cooked, start by boiling the pork knuckle in a large pot of water. Add aromatic ingredients like bay leaves, peppercorns, and garlic to the boiling water to infuse the meat with flavor. Boil the knuckle until it’s partially cooked, which helps render some of the fat and prepares it for the final roasting in the oven.
  3. Pat the Pork Knuckle Dry: After boiling, ensure that the partially cooked pork knuckle is thoroughly patted dry with paper towels. Removing excess moisture from the surface of the meat is essential for achieving crispy skin during the roasting process in the oven. A dry surface will result in a delightful contrast between the crispy skin and tender meat, enhancing the overall texture of the dish.
  4. Roast on a Rack: When it’s time to roast the pork knuckle in the oven, use a roasting rack if possible placed inside the baking pan. Elevating the knuckle allows for even air circulation, ensuring that the skin crisps up beautifully while the meat cooks evenly. Basting the knuckle with its own juices during roasting can also enhance its flavor and texture.
  5. Layer Sauerkraut Below: Assemble the dish by layering sauerkraut in the baking pan below the pork knuckle. This positioning allows the flavorful juices from the meat to drip down onto the sauerkraut as it roasts, infusing it with the savory essence of the knuckle. Season the sauerkraut with a touch of salt, pepper, and some aromatic ingredients like thinly sliced onions and apple slices for extra depth of flavor.

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FAQs about the Oven-Baked Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut

Do I need to marinate the pork knuckle for this dish?

No, marination is not necessary for this recipe. The pork knuckle is typically already seasoned and flavored during the boiling process, ensuring that it absorbs a rich blend of herbs and spices. You can proceed directly to the roasting step after patting it dry.

How do I prevent the sauerkraut from becoming too sour?

To control the level of sourness in your sauerkraut, consider rinsing it under cold water before layering it in the baking pan. This will help remove some of the excess brine and mellow the sauerkraut’s flavor. Additionally, you can balance the sauerkraut’s tanginess by adding sliced apples or onions for a slightly sweet and aromatic touch.

Can I use pre-packaged sauerkraut for this dish?

Yes, you can use pre-packaged sauerkraut, but it’s essential to taste it first. Some store-bought sauerkraut can be quite sour, while others are milder. Adjust the sourness to your liking by rinsing and draining the sauerkraut as mentioned in FAQ 2.

How long should I roast the pork knuckle in the oven, and at what temperature?

Roast the pork knuckle in a preheated oven at around 350°F to 375°F (175°C to 190°C) for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Keep an eye on it, and once the skin turns golden and crispy, and the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F (74°C), it’s ready to be served.

Can I prepare Oven-Baked Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut in advance?

Yes, you can prepare this dish in advance. After roasting, you can refrigerate it, and it will reheat well. To maintain the crispy skin, reheat it in the oven at a lower temperature, around 300°F (150°C), until heated through. This makes it a convenient option for planning ahead or for leftovers on subsequent days.

Related Baked Pork Ham Recipes and Culinary Articles

➡️ Enjoy cooking a pork knuckle with sauerkraut in the oven from scratch! For additional info, read more about ham shank as the food here. I also recommend other tasty recipes available on this website (see below.)

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