Friday, January 04, 2013

Pork & Sauerkraut for Luck in the New Year!

Pork  and Sauerkraut 003

 We always have pork & sauerkraut for good luck on New Year's day.  When I saw the recent comments on Kitty's Kozy Kitchen blog post about the same food, I was amazed at how many people had never tasted it or never had it served over mashed potatoes.  That is the only way we've ever eaten it! 

 Funny how different regions of our country have their own customs & traditions. (for example, I've never eaten black eyed peas in my life!) I think this recipe is part Polish & part German.  I know my Irish mother never made for us!

I thought I would share how I make mine each year.  There really isn't a specific recipe for making it but it is very easy.  
I buy the sauerkraut in the bag & open it into a colander in the sink & let it sit while I brown the pork, so that some of the salty brine can drain off.  

I then brown a pork roast in a large dutch oven.  Browning adds lots of great flavor!  
I received some wonderful new Penzeys spices for Christmas  & one of them is called "Krakow Nights". 

 I used it on this pork roast as well as in some beef vegetable soup this week & it is delightful.

After the meat is seared, I add the drained sauerkraut to the pan, allowing some of it to cover the top of the meat.  This keeps it moist during cooking.
I also sprinkle a small amount of caraway seeds throughout the pan & I add about 1 1/2 cups of hot water into which I've disolved about a tablespoon of beef soup base.  You could use a few beef bullion cubes instead but I always have the Sam's Club beef soup base on hand.

I don't add any salt, as the soup base & the sauerkraut have plenty & I'm sure the new Krakow Night's seasoning has some in it, too.  

That is it!  Bake in a slow oven (250º-275º) for 2 to 4 hours, depending on how big your pork roast is.  Check it occasionally to make sure the water hasn't evaporated & add more plain water if needed. 

The meat will be tender & practically fall apart when done.     

We serve it over mashed potatoes & have some REAL Horseradish available for those who dare.

Here are some other holiday dishes I made:  

Christmas lantern & snowman 2012 008

Christmas lantern & snowman 2012 014 

Christmas Wreath Appetizer

2 (8 ounce) packages crescent rolls
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 broccoli (1 small crown chopped into small florets)
3 stalks celery (chopped)
1 sweet red pepper (cut into various shapes)

1 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2 Remove the crescent roll dough from its packaging BUT DON'T UNROLL IT.
3 Cut each tube into eight slices and arrange the slices in a circle on ungreased baking sheet (about 11 inches in diameter -- you can make your circle on a pizza pan).
4 Bake dough wreath for 15-20 minutes or until the dough turns a lovely golden color. Cool for 5 minutes or so before gently removing wreath to a serving platter. Then, cool it completely.
5 In small bowl, beat the sour cream, cream cheese together until smooth. Mix in dill, Italian seasoning and garlic. Refrigerate until ready to spread on wreath.
6 Cut red pepper into festive shapes (circles, stars, etc.) You can make a bow out of the rounded bottom and strips of the pepper (see the photo for example).
7 When ready to assemble, spread the cheese mixture over the baked wreath.
8 Sprinkle with chopped celery.
9 Arrange broccoli florets, celery leaves and red pepper pieces around the wreath to decorate.
10 Attach red pepper bow and serve.

I'm happy to join in Michael's Lee at Rattlebridge Farm for her Foodie Friday party.
Come see what others are cooking up in the New Year! 
I'll also be joining in Yvonne's fun again at Stonegable for her On The Menu Monday.


  1. This is just the kind of recipe that my grandmother and mother used to make. To me it's the ultimate comfort food. Now I'm going to be craving this until I make it. So happy that you are back blogging again, Rett. I really missed you.

  2. Oooooh, yummy! My wonderful step-mom used to make pork and sauerkraut for New Year's Day, too. Her dad's family was German and her mom's family was Sicilian. Mickey was an excellent cook. She would drain and then rinse her sauerkraut and mix in some cabbage, too. Mashed potatoes were a must! I like to make pork schnitzel with red cabbage and apples and serve it with hot German potato salad. My dad used to love it and my whole family does now, too. I think I just talked myself into making it tomorrow! Your snowman cheese ball looks precious!

  3. Your pork and sauerkraut sounds great Rett! I always add the sauerkraut juice, when it mixes with the brown bits on the bottom of the pan it becomes our gravy. Love your cute snowman cheeseball:@)

  4. Hi Rhett, I am so glad to see you back and your pork and sauerkraut sounds so yummy. It is nice to see other people like some of the same things that we do. I can relate to health issues for the last few months, not quite like yours. My hubby is still in the nursing home and I fell injuring my knee on the ice. Your snowman cheese ball looks so yummy. Have a wonderful weekend. You family will be added to my prayer list for a speedy recovery. Hugs and Prayers from your Missouri Friend.

  5. Rhett, thanks for sharing the directions. I like sauerkraut and corn beef sandwiches. Will try this recipe. I think it will be a hit here. ;-)
    Your Christmas party foods are clever. ~ Sarah

  6. Your pork and sauerkraut looks scrumptious, I am going to have to make it. Better late than never, right? I think it is the perfect dish to serve over mashed potatoes. Your snowman cheese ball is too cute to eat. xo

  7. I discovered this recipe for kraut and pork just a couple of months ago and have made three times since then. You would never think it would be this delicious but it is. I do just like you but use the pressure cooker. I cook for 35 minutes, then add tiny potatoes with skins and pressure cook for five minutes more. We LOVE this meal. I buy a jarred saurkraut here that says "Bavarian style" and it has the added caraway seeds and a really nice flavor. I throw in all the juice too.

    Your other dishes are very inviting.

    1. I'll have to look for some "Bavarian" style sauerkraut next time! If we weren't trying to watch our sodium intake, I'd be using all the juices, too. I'm sure it adds extra bite to the flavors. Darned ol' high blood pressure!!

  8. We always had fresh ham for New Years growing up! I had lunch with Alma New Years Day, but I cooked pork for us the next day...
    Love your snowman and wreath!

  9. Your pork and sauerkraut sound wonderful - and I'll bet the sprinkling of caraway was a great touch. You've made me hungry!

  10. Rett, I am so so thrilled you are back with us and your hubby is doing better! Your pork and sauerkraut looks scrumptious! I'll look forward to seeing it next ON THE MENU MONDAY!
    Welcome home, dear Rett!

  11. I LOVE pork and sauerkraut! Sadly, my husband doesn't share my enthusiasm about sauerkraut. I'll make the sauerkraut just for myself :) Your photo is making my mouth water!

  12. My mouth is watering and we just had it too....and then again as leftovers. The one thing you have to try with that is pork and beans. My husband's family has always eaten it that way and I've joined them. There is no looking is the New Year trifecta.

    Yvonne sent me over....

  13. Rett~ This looks delicious served over the mashed potatoes! I had seen Kitty's post too, I'm one of the ones who had never eaten that way, which is shocking since the potato is my favorite food group! I do eat my black-eyed peas though :) Your snowman is adorable!

  14. Rett, OMGosh the pork sauerkraut and mashed potatoes looks soooo good. I hadn't thought to serve the pork over the potatoes. The snowman and wreath are just the cutest. What a fun idea.
    We always eat pork, black eyed peas and turnip greens for New's a Southern thang.
    Have a great Sunday,

  15. Rett, I meant to thank you for the compliment on my header. I tried to email you to tell you how easy it is to do it, but don't see an email address anywhere on your blog. If you'd like me to tell you how I did it, email me at It's so easy...believe me, if I can do it, it HAS to be easy. :)

    1. Thanks for all your help, Babs. I had not tried PicMonkey before & it was very easy!

  16. Happy New Year, Rett! I have bever had pork with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes but it sure looks good. Your veggies look so pretty too....Christine

  17. Good mornig Rett! I apologize for not being around, the holidays were so crazy busy around here, and this being our first Christmas in our new house! I am someone who doesn't care for saurkraut but my hubby loves it. We don't usually have pork on New Yeras day but this year had it on the day after, hope that counts for some good luck:) The snowman cheeseball and the wreath are too cute!!! Happy New Year!!! XO, Pinky

  18. Rett, Your food is ART! I adore the little snowman and your vegi tray. Have a great week!

  19. Thanks for the shout-out, Rett! Your picture is mouth-watering for sure. The funny thing is, my Mom is part Irish and her Mom was 100% Irish and they both made it. I'm thinking that is because of being in Pennsylvania...near Pennsylvania-Dutch country, maybe? Anyway, it's a fabulous meal and such comfort food.


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