Recipe Details

Fresh Pork Shank German-Style

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
Servings: 4


Cook to 145 F with 3 minute rest


2 pork shanks, fresh, about 3-4 pounds total
To taste, salt and black pepper
4 slices bacon, diced
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 32-oz package sauerkraut, refrigerated, rinsed and drained well
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 ounces beer, room temperature

Cooking Directions

Season shanks with salt and pepper, set aside. In large Dutch oven or pot sauté bacon to render fat, stir in onion and cook and stir until onion is tender but not brown; push to one side of pan. Add shanks and brown on all sides, about 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Meanwhile, in large bowl stir together drained sauerkraut and remaining ingredients. Remove shanks, place sauerkraut mixture on bottom of pan, return shanks on top of kraut, drizzle beer over all. Cover and place in 350 degrees F. oven for 2-2 1/2 hours, until shanks are very tender.

Serves 4.

Serving Suggestions

It’s worth a call to the butcher to procure fresh pork shanks. These flavors will remind you of classic German sauerbraten. Let shanks oven braise, unmolested, until very tender. Serve with sliced rye bread and a cucumber and dill salad.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 680 calories
Protein: 87 grams
Fat: 25 grams
Sodium: 1120 milligrams
Cholesterol: 245 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 9 grams
Carbohydrates: 22 grams

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About the Cut: Smoked Hocks / Fresh Shanks

Smoked hock and shank are flavorful, inexpensive cuts that originate in the front leg of the hog, known as the arm picnic shoulder.

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About the Cooking Method: Braising

1. Coat meat lightly with seasoned flour, if desired.
2. In a large, heavy pan with lid, brown meat on all sides in a small amount of oil; remove excess drippings from pan.
3. Cover meat with desired liquid(s).
4. Cover pan and simmer over low heat on stove or in a low to moderate (275 to 300 degrees F.) oven for 1 to 3 hours, until tender.
5. If adding vegetables, add toward end of cooking time, during the last 20 to 45 minutes.

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Tips and Tricks

Buying, Handling & Storage Tips

The term shank refers to the front leg of the hog. The hock is the lower, meaty portion of the front leg. Hock and shank are often available both fresh and cured/smoked upon request at the meat counter. Hock contains two round shank bones that are exposed on both ends and is often sold with the skin still attached. Note that the ham hock is different – it originates in the lower rear leg (or ham). Ham hocks are most often available cured.

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Butcher's Tips

Thanks to its abundance of connective tissue, hock and shank provide a rich, smoky flavor that is ideal for flavoring soups, stews and rustic vegetables. Long, slow cooking methods will yield tender results. Hocks are best enjoyed when the meat becomes so tender that it nearly falls away from the bone. Simply chop the meat and add to the dish near the end of cooking time to enhance flavor.

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Rate this Recipe
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Review Title

Very tasty!
by anonymous 04/24/2014
Nice flavor, skin could be crispier though.

Loved it!
by anonymous 03/17/2014
We made this recipe last night. Doubled the allspice, mustard, bacon, onion and beer!

Excellent dish
by anonymous 10/17/2012
 Easy to make and great tasting

by anonymous 11/11/2011
 I love German pork shank and order it wherever available. I'd like to make it at home. This recipe calls for cooking the meat over sauerkraut which I have never experienced with real German pork shank. The recipe also calls for fried bacon but that is missing from the ingredients list. Whoever wrote this recipe has to get their act together.