Baltic Maid

Eisbein – German Ham Hock with Sauerkraut

Posted on | December 10, 2012 | 3 Comments

This is a very traditional German meal. I never really enjoyed this dish as a kid. Maybe it was the German name “Eisbein” (“ice leg”) was a bit too deterrent. I am not sure… The other day when I was in the store and I saw ham hocks for sale, I thought I would give it a second chance. I am glad I did because this is absolutely delicious. I am not sure what was wrong with me as a kid… :-)

German Ham Hock with Sauerkraut


  • smoked ham hock/s (I used about 1 1/2 lbs, but larger pieces can be used)
  • Sauerkraut (I used about 3/4 of a 1 qt /946 ml glass of Sauerkraut)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot or several baby carrots, chopped
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 5 pepper corns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 6 cups water, or as needed


Add all ingredients including the Sauerkraut into pot. Pour enough water over the ingredients to cover the meat. I used about 6 cups of water. Bring everything to a boil and let it simmer until the meat becomes soft and cooked. This took about an hour for the 1 1/2 lbs I used but this may vary.

Season the Sauerkraut stew to taste and divide it onto plates. Add some of the meat and serve it with cooked potatoes and mustard, horseradish or mustard with horseradish for the meat.

Guten Appetit!

Eisbein mit Sauerkraut


  • 1 Eisbein oder mehrere Stücke (Ich habe ca 680 g geräuchertes Eisbein verwendet, aber es können durchaus gröβere Stücke verwendet werden)
  • Sauerkraut (Ich habe ca. 3/4 des Inhalts von einem 946 ml groβem Sauerkraut-Glas verwendet)
  • 1 groβe Zwiebel, klein geschnitten
  • 1 Mohrrübe oder mehrere kleine Mohrrüben, klein geschnitten
  • 3 Pimentkörner
  • 5 Pfefferkörner
  • 1 Lorbeerblatt
  • 4 TL Salz
  • 1 1/2 l Wasser, oder je nach Bedarf


Alle Zutaten, auch das Sauerkraut  in einen Topf geben und mit Wasser auffüllen bis das Fleisch bedeckt ist. Ich habe ca 1 1/2 Liter Wasser verwendet. Alles zum Kochen bringen und bei niedriger Hitze köcheln lassen bis das Fleisch weich und gar geworden ist.  Es hat ca. 1 Stunde gedauert, aber das hängt von der Gröβe des Eisbeins ab.

Die Sauerkrautbrühe abschmecken und auf Tellern verteilen. Etwas Fleisch darüber geben. Mit gekochten Kartoffeln und Senf, Meerrettich oder Senf mit Meerrettich servieren.

Guten Appetit!




3 Responses to “Eisbein – German Ham Hock with Sauerkraut”

  1. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    December 12th, 2012 @ 11:02

    Thank you for sharing traditional German meal. It looks so good! It’s funny how our preference changes as we age. This looks very comforting and perfect for cold night. And it’s interesting how the name of food is created sometimes!

  2. Jen
    December 12th, 2012 @ 20:40

    Oh this is such a typical German dish and I do have to admit that i have not had this in years. And it IS the name of the dish that is putting me off lol

  3. BalticMaid
    December 16th, 2012 @ 13:40

    @ Nami: Thank you! I looked up the origin of the name “Eisbein” and there are several possible explanations. One is that in the Old High German language, doctors and hunters used a similar word to ‘Eisbein’ for ‘hip’ which most likely derived from the Latin word ‘ischia’. In New High German the meaning of the word then switched from hip to lower leg.

    @ Jen: I know… hahaha…

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