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Pork and Sauerkraut for the New Year [RECIPE]

Traci Taylor

You’d think since I’m German on my dad’s side that I would have learned of the tradition of eating pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day as a kid, but my family isn’t really big on food traditions and I didn’t even learn about this delicious tradition until I lived in Pennsylvania.

According to German Food Guide, this tradition of eating pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s day goes like this:

Eating Sauerkraut on New Year’s Eve is a long-standing tradition in Germany. It is believed that eating Sauerkraut will bring blessings and wealth for the new year. Before the meal, those seated at the table wish each other as much goodness and money as the number of shreds of cabbage in the pot of Sauerkraut. The pig has long been a symbol for good luck and well-being. Because of this, many people believe that eating a meal with pork will bring luck in the coming new year. For those who prefer not to eat pork on New Year’s Eve, a sweet alternative, such as Marzipan-Pigs (Marzipanschweine) or pig-shaped chocolates, is believed to bring the same benefits.”

If you’d like to try starting a new tradition of pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day, I’m happy to share my slow cooker recipe. I do want to mention though that as much as I love sauerkraut, I find that sometimes it’s a little bitter tasting. I cut the bitterness by cooking it with the pork right in the slow cooker. If you like sauerkraut to have more of a bite, you won’t want to cook it with the pork.

1 pork loin roast
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups sauerkraut with liquid (this means that you shouldn’t drain the sauerkraut from the package or can!)

If the pork loin is too big for your slow cooker, cut it so that it will fit. Season the pork with caraway seeds, salt, and pepper. Dump the sauerkraut over the pork. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour, then cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. If you want to cook your meal overnight, pop it in the slow cooker on low after the ball drops on New Year’s Eve and when you get up New Year’s day (8 hours on low in the slow cooker), it’ll be done. And yes, I often eat pork at sauerkraut for breakfast on New Year’s Day. I mean, I can use all the extra money and luck I can get!

[via German Food Guide]

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