New Year’s Eatings: Pork & Sauerkraut!

This traditional German recipe is comfort food at its best, and it’s become a traditional New Year’s meal for good luck out in New England (by way of the Pennsylvania Dutch). That’s nice. We don’t see why Southerners should have all the fun traditions with black-eyed peas. We also like the old-fashioned aspect of pork representing wealth in the New Year–since owning a pig used to be quite the status symbol in the old days.  And do you know why cabbage is eaten with the pork? Because it goes really well with the dish. That’s about all we can figure.

And while pork & sauerkraut may lack some visual appeal, the dish more than makes up for in flavor. If ever there were a meal that could take you back to your childhood, this is the one. Check out this recipe from as peasant food that’s perfect for a hearty New Year’s Day meal.  [photo via tastykitchen]


Bone-in country-style pork ribs




Chicken broth


Kosher salt


  1. Season the pork with salt. You don’t need too much because there’s plenty in the kraut.
  2. Season liberally with fresh ground coarse black pepper.
  3. Peel and quarter the onions.
  4. Heat your Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add and heat the oil, then add two or three of the pork pieces. You don’t want to crowd the pan, so work in batches.
  5. Cook the pork until it is nicely browned on one side, about two minutes. Flip them over and cook another two minutes, or until the other side is nicely seared. Repeat the searing for the remaining pork.
  6. Turn off the heat, remove the pork to a plate, and set aside.
  7. Add the applesauce to the pan. Stir to deglaze it.
  8. Drain about half of the juice from the sauerkraut. Add it to the pan and stir to incorporate it with the applesauce.
  9. Arrange the pork on top of the sauerkraut and applesauce mixture. It’s okay to sort of cram them in there if need be, but try to keep them from being completely submerged.
  10.  Arrange the onions on top of the pork.
  11.  Cover and bake at 325 degrees for an hour and a half.
  12.  Check the liquid content and add chicken stock if the top looks at all like it’s starting to get dry. You want to see the sauerkraut just barely under the surface of the liquid.
  13.  Cover and continue cooking another hour.
  14.  Uncover and cook another 30 minutes.

Serve this tasty dish with plain mashed potatoes or add dumplings right in the top at the end of the cooking time. This recipe makes 8 servings.