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Delicious Bavarian Sauerkraut With Ham Hocks and Polish Sausage

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Bavarian sauerkraut with ham hocks, Polish sausage, and potatoes

Bavarian sauerkraut with ham hocks, Polish sausage, and potatoes

Old-Fashioned Bavarian Sauerkraut Recipe

Everyone makes sauerkraut differently; I have a friend who makes it with stewed tomatoes, for example. I'm going to share an old-time Bavarian sauerkraut recipe my grandmother taught me. It's not overwhelmingly sour and has lots of flavor from the bacon, sausage, ham hocks, and garlic. It's also a lovely golden color, which is an important part of this recipe.


  • 2 (16-oz) jars Hengstenberg Bavarian sauerkraut (with or without caraway seeds), lightly rinsed (rinsing eliminates much of the sour flavor)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 4 to 5 cups water
  • 2 large potaotes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 large ham hocks, preferably not smoked
  • 1 ring Polish sausage, cut 1-inch thick
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder or fresh garlic
  • 2 Knorr chicken boullion cubes
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (don't worry, it will not make it sour)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup instant butter flavored mashed potato flakes, for thickening in place of flour roux
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
  • 1/8 cup or 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons all-seasoning salt
  • 2 whole juniper berries
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, saute the onions and bacon until the onions are glossy. Note: There's no need for oil; the bacon will keep the onions moist
  2. Add the water, bouillon cubes, all of the seasonings, soy sauce, and ham hocks. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Simmer for 30 minutes, covered.
  3. Add sauerkraut, juniper berries, bay leaf, vinegar, and wine. Continue to simmer, covered, for 2 hours. If the liquid starts to evaporate a little after about an hour during cooking, add 1 cup of water.
  4. Add butter, apples, potatoes, and brown sugar. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
  5. And Polish sausage. Simmer for 10 minutes. You don't want the sausage to get too soft and mushy, which is why we add it in at the end. You can check the taste if you need more garlic.
  6. While stirring, sprinkle the instant mashed potatoes in. When the desired thickness is reached, stop adding. You just want a slight thickness, not watery and not thick like mashed potatoes. (Note: Instead of instant mashed potatoes, you can make a roux with butter and flour or just mash a few of the potatoes. It's all pretty much preference and what you have in the cabinet.)
  7. Your sauerkraut should have a nice golden brown color when done.
I have been using Knorr bouillon cubes for over 30 years. I am not a distributor for them and am not trying to sell the product to you.

I have been using Knorr bouillon cubes for over 30 years. I am not a distributor for them and am not trying to sell the product to you.

Why I Use Knorr Bouillon Cubes

Knorr bouillon cubes are quick and easy to use in all your recipes to enhance flavor. They make chicken, beef, and vegetable flavors. They also make gravies, noodle meals, and much more.

I have been using these cubes for over 30 years. My special bouillon cube jar is never low or empty. My grandmother and mother used these cubes also. I just kept the tradition going—and the tradition has now been passed down to my daughter, as she uses them as well.

I have tried other brands, but in my opinion, they just weren't as good. I am not trying to advertise, nor am I affiliated with them in any way. This is just a product that works well for me in my kitchen, and I want to share the information with you too.

Hengstenberg Bavarian Sauerkraut

© 2011 Ramona