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New Year’s Day Pork and Sauerkraut

Uncle Ken slicing the pork- New Year’s Day 2012

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been slow cooking pork and sauerkraut New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day so that I can eat it all day New Year’s Day. This tradition is largely Pennsylvania Dutch and the story goes like this:

A Pennsylvania Dutch tradition says that it’s good luck to eat pork for the new year because pigs forage forward for their food and don’t look back. In years past, food in the larder for winter was the equivalent of prosperity. Having a hog to slaughter and pork to eat at New Year’s meant a family would have food for the winter months. Because cabbage is a late fall crop, the most efficient way to preserve it for the winter was by turning it into sauerkraut. Brining cabbage takes 6 to 8 weeks, which means that October kraut would be ready to eat just as the new year was arriving.

 

I love sauerkraut, but sometimes it’s a little bitter for me, so I cook it right with the pork in a slow cooker. That seems to take some of the sting out of it. This year I’ve made my own sauerkraut from scratch.  I’ve never done this before, so it’ll be interesting so see how it turns out.

Here’s my recipe for slow cooker pork and sauerkraut:

Ingredients

  1. 1 pork loin roast
  2. 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  3. Salt and pepper to taste
  4. 2 cups sauerkraut with liquid (this means- don’t drain it!)

 Directions

  1. Cut pork loin, if necessary, to fit in the slow cooker. Season with caraway seeds, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauerkraut over the roast.
  2. Cook on High for 1 hour, then cook on Low for 5 to 6 hours. Or if you’re cooking it overnight, pop it in the slow cooker on low after the ball drops tonight and when you get up in the morning (as long as you sleep 8 hours), it’ll be done.

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