Happy New Year! I thought of sharing the recipe for Pork & Sauerkraut today, due to the holiday yesterday. Every culture has a lucky dish that they eat on New Year’s Day. The tradition of eating pork and sauerkraut for luck on New Year’s Day can trace its origins back to Germany. Germans and other pig-raising cultures have been eating this dish for centuries, with immigrants bringing the tradition to the United States. It is the ultimate hearty meal for a cold evening. The pork is perfectly juicy and tender after simmering with sauerkraut and apples. There are tons of pork and sauerkraut recipes online with slight variations. The basis of my recipe comes from an acquaintance of my youth who grew up in Amish country in Pennsylvania.
When I first moved to Miami in my 20’s, I made friends with a group of young woman in North Miami including my new friend from Pennsylvania. After a vacation back home visiting her family at Christmas, I was invited to a dinner party at her home. Other friends were telling me what a treat it will be as she would be making pork loin roast in homemade sauerkraut. Every time she visited Pennsylvania her suitcase was packed with large frozen bags of sauerkraut on her flight home. I must admit I wasn’t particularly excited about the dinner. I only had sauerkraut on hot dogs a few times. I wasn’t particularly a fan.
That all changed at the dinner party. I was introduced to a fantastic taste combination that I’ve never forgotten. At the dinner our hostess explained how they made the sauerkraut on the farm. I of course asked for a recipe for the pork and sauerkraut. The main thing to remember is the addition of apples to the dish to soften the tartness of the sauerkraut. After that fabulous meal I added pork and sauerkraut to my list of favorite meals. I of course do not have homemade sauerkraut. I buy glass jars or plastic bags of sauerkraut in the refrigerated meat section of the supermarket. Don’t buy canned sauerkraut as the taste is totally different and more metallic. You can use pork loin (not tenderloin) or shoulder roast. I’ve even made it with lean pork chops.
Slow Cooker Pork & Sauerkraut
Use organic when available. Serves 8
Slow Cooker Pork & Sauerkraut
- 2 3/4 to 3 lb pork roast (loin or shoulder)
- 2 tbsp Optional olive oil if roast is browned
- salt and pepper
- 16 oz sauerkraut drained
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 onion chopped 1
- 1 large Granny Smith apple cored and chopped
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Trim roast of any excess fat
- Season pork with salt and pepper on all sides
- Optional for added flavor, brown all sides of the pork loin in a hot skillet with 2 T olive oil prior to adding to the crock pot
- Spray the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray
- Place roast in slow cooker
- Pour apple juice over roast
- Place apples, garlic, and onions around pork
- Top all with sauerkraut
- Sprinkle cinnamon on top
- Cover with lid
- Slow cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours until the meat is very tender
- Remove pork and slice or shred
- Serve pork topped with sauerkraut and apples. Perfect side dish is your favorite potato recipe. I love it over mashed potatoes
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