German Kassler Chops With Sauerkraut & Creamy Horseradish Sauce

German Kasseler chops with sauerkraut is a traditional Oktoberfest recipe, but I love to make this family favorite all year long. Kasseler is a salted and lightly smoked pork loin chop that is flavorful, very tender, and simple to prepare. My recipe also includes an optional creamy horse radish sauce that pairs perfectly with the flavors of pork and sauerkraut.

German kassler chop served on a plate next to braised sauerkraut and a creamy horseradish sauce.

In Germany, braised sauerkraut, as you will make in this recipe, is traditionally eaten with pork dishes like kasseler and schnitzel. The pork is already so flavorful from the smoke and salt that it doesn’t need any marinating or sauces.

I love to make this entire meal in a cast iron pan.

Ingredients (Any Notes, Variations, & Substitutions)

The photo below represents everything you need to make the kassler chops, the sauerkraut, and the horseradish sauce. If you are not making some of the parts of this recipe, you will find on the recipe card that the ingredients are grouped and separated accordingly to avoid confusion.

All of the ingredients needed to make the German kassler pork chops, the braised sauerkraut, and the creamy horseradish sauce.

Step-by-Step Instructions (Recipe Process Photos)

Braised sauerkraut being prepared.

Step 1 (Preparing the Sauerkraut):

In a large pan or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of lard or oil over medium heat. Add the diced bacon and cook until it starts to crisp. Add the chopped onion to the bacon and sauté until translucent. Then, add the grated apple and cook for a couple of minutes until softened. Stir in the sauerkraut, brown sugar, bay leaf, juniper berries, peppercorns, and caraway seeds. Mix well to combine. Pour in the broth and white wine (if using). Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and let it braise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour hours, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes too dry, add more broth or water.

Making the horseradish sauce.

Step 2 (Prepare the horseradish sauce):

As the sauerkraut cooks, whisk together the sour cream, prepared horseradish, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, and sugar until well combined.

Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper according to your preference. The amount of horseradish can be adjusted based on how spicy you want the sauce to be. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the sauce for at least 30 minutes before serving. This chilling time allows the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken slightly. Before serving, stir the sauce and check the seasoning once more. Adjust if necessary. Sprinkle with finely chopped chives for a touch of color and freshness (optional).

Kasseler pork chops being seared on cast iron.

Step 3 (Cooking the Kassler):

Heat 1 tablespoon of lard or oil over medium-high heat. Add the Kassler chops to the hot pan. Sear them for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until they are nicely browned and heated through. Since Kassler is already smoked and cured, your main goal is to warm it thoroughly and get a good brown sear.

German kassler chop served on a plate next to braised sauerkraut and a creamy horseradish sauce.

Step 4 (Plate & Serve):

Place the Kassler chops on plates, accompanied by the warm, braised sauerkraut on the side or underneath and alongside the horse radish sauce.

German kassler chop served on a plate next to braised sauerkraut and a creamy horseradish sauce.

I recommend adding some roasted vegetables and a lovely potato dish like my German potato salad, mashed potatoes, potato dumplings, or roasted potatoes. Authentic spaetzle dumplings are also so good here.

A simple salad is a nice additional accompaniment if you want to go all out, and I love a hearty roasted vegetable salad on the side.

If you love recipes like this, try my oven roasted ham with carrots and potatoes. And check out my other traditional German recipes too — like my German potato soup.

German kassler chop served on a plate next to braised sauerkraut and a creamy horseradish sauce.

German Kassler Chops With Sauerkraut

German Kasseler chops with sauerkraut is a traditional Oktoberfest recipe, but I love to make this family favorite all year long. Kasseler is a salted and lightly smoked pork loin chop that is flavorful, very tender, and simple to prepare.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: German
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 2
Calories: 760kcal
Author: Jana Dziak

Ingredients

  • 2 Kassler Chops smoked pork loin chops, about 1 inch thick

For the Sauerkraut:

  • 1 lbs Plain Sauerkraut Drained
  • 3.5 oz Bacon Small diced
  • 1 Medium Onion Small diced
  • 1 Apple Peeled, cored, and diced small
  • ½ Cup Bone Broth or Stock Chicken, beef, or vegetable can be used. As can water and a stock cube.
  • ¼ Cup White Wine Optional
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar Maple syrup, maple sugar, honey, or coconut sugar can be used instead.
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 3 Juniper Berries Optional
  • 3 Black Peppercorns
  • ½ Teaspoon Caraway Seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Lard Or oil of choice.

For The horseradish Sauce:

  • ½ Cup Sour Cream
  • 3 Tablespoons Prepared Horseradish You may want to start with less and then add more to taste.
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon White Wine Vinegar You can use apple cider vinegar instead.
  • ½ Teaspoon Sugar Or Honey.
  • Salt + Pepper To taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Chives Optional.

Instructions

  • Preparing the Sauerkraut: In a large pan or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of lard over medium heat. Add the diced bacon and cook until it starts to crisp. To the bacon, add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent. Then, add the grated apple and cook for a couple of minutes until softened.
    Stir in the sauerkraut, brown sugar, bay leaf, juniper berries, peppercorns, and caraway seeds. Mix well to combine. Pour in the broth and white wine (if using). Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.
    Cover and let it braise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour hours, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes too dry, add a little more broth or water.
  • Prepare the horseradish sauce: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream, prepared horseradish, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, and sugar until well combined. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper according to your preference.
    The amount of horseradish can be adjusted based on how spicy you want the sauce to be. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the sauce for at least 30 minutes before serving. This chilling time allows the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken slightly.
    Before serving, give the sauce a final stir and check the seasoning once more. Adjust if necessary. Sprinkle with finely chopped chives for a touch of color and freshness, if using.
  • Cooking the Kassler: Preheat the Pan. In a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon of lard over medium-high heat. Add the Kassler chops to the hot pan. Sear them for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until they are nicely browned and heated through.
    Since Kassler is already smoked and cured, your main goal is to warm it thoroughly and get a good sear.
  • Serve the Kassler: Place the Kassler chops on plates, accompanied by the warm, braised sauerkraut on the side or underneath and alongside the horse radish sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 760kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 2112mg | Potassium: 1385mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 550IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 189mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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