Pork and Sauerkraut for the New Year [RECIPE]
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, so I didn’t even know this tradition existed until I lived in Pennsylvania.
This reason for the 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.
I love sauerkraut, but sometimes it’s a little bitter tasting to me, so I cook it right with the pork in a slow cooker. That seems to take some of the sting out of it. If you’d like to try starting a new tradition of pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day, here’s my slow cooker recipe:
1 pork loin roast
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups sauerkraut with liquid (this means- don’t drain it from the package or can!)
If the pork loin is too big for your slow cooker, cut it so that it will fit. Season with caraway seeds, salt and pepper. Dump the sauerkraut over the roast. Cover and 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 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.