German Braised Pork & Cabbage - Schweinefleisch und Kohl

Fresh pork belly
Getty Images/Jupiterimages/Photolibrary
Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
805 Calories
53g Fat
12g Carbs
54g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 805
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 53g 68%
Saturated Fat 19g 96%
Cholesterol 196mg 65%
Sodium 594mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 54g
Vitamin C 29mg 147%
Calcium 178mg 14%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 856mg 18%
*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.)

This recipe for German braised pork and cabbage, or Geschmortes Schweinefleisch und Kohl in German, is my adaptation of a traditional German Eisbein mit Sauerkraut (salt-cured pig knuckle or hock) on a day when I had neither ingredient on hand.

Instead, I braised a well-marbled piece of fresh pork belly (pork shoulder can be used instead) on top of green cabbage laced with dry white wine and vinegar. Here, the green cabbage is braised like red cabbage, and the slightly soured cooking liquid makes it taste like sauerkraut, but with much less salt. This is a nice example of Hausmannskost (home cooking), or hearty comfort food for the family.


  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 1 pound green cabbage, sliced thin

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 3 juniper berries

  • 3 whole cloves

  • 10 peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 2 cups dry white wine

  • 2 to 3 pounds pork belly, or fresh pork shoulder

  • Sour cream, to taste, optional

  • German mustard, to taste, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven. Add the diced onion and sauté until translucent, then add the thinly sliced cabbage and stir to coat with the fat.

  2. Place 1 bay leaf, 3 juniper berries, 3 whole cloves, and 10 peppercorns in the middle of a square of cheesecloth. Tie it into a bundle with butcher's twine and place on top of the cabbage (or throw them in loose, if you do not mind).

  3. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar and 2 cups dry white wine and bring to a boil.

  4. Lay the pork on top of the cabbage, cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce heat.

  5. Simmer for three hours, or until meat is tender and easy to cut.

  6. Remove meat to a platter and keep warm.

  7. To finish the cabbage, you have several choices. You might want to cook down the liquid, then thicken it by adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour made into a slurry with part of the liquid and cooking it until thick. Another option is to add a few tablespoons of sour cream to the cabbage (do not boil afterward).

  8. Season to taste with salt, pepper, mustard and maybe a pinch of sugar.

  9. Serve the pork and cabbage with potatoes, mashed or boiled, and mashed fresh peas (without mint).