When we think of New Year’s Day, we think of resolutions, watching football, and most importantly eating Slow Cooker Pork Roast, Sauerkraut and Apples.
As with many families, we bring in the New Year with tradition.
At the strike of midnight, there are horns to be blown, kisses to give, and a toast to celebrate the beginning of a new and prosperous year ahead.
That is of course, if we can stay awake that long!
But there is one tradition that we never stray away from. Eating our good luck, slow cooker pork roast, sauerkraut and apples meal!
Tradition of Pork and Sauerkraut
So why is eating pork and sauerkraut a New Year’s Day tradition?
The German settlers believed that eating pork helped signify moving forward in the New Year. Pigs always forage in a forward motion and thus a sign that it is time to move ahead in the year to come.
And as for sauerkraut, well, the history behind the good fortune is a little sketchy. However, legend has it that cabbage is a sign of prosperity.
But there was one little problem.
Fresh cabbage wasn’t readily available in cold environments on January 1st. In order to still have cabbage on New Year’s Day, the settlers had to turn to fermented cabbage.
And that is why sauerkraut became the supporting role in this traditional good luck meal.
Slow Cooker Pork Roast, Sauerkraut and Apples
As I child I remember sitting in my ‘comfy’ clothes on New Year’s Day watching the Rose Bowl parade and football around our console t.v.
At half-time we would always gather around the table to partake in the traditional good luck meal.
I loved the pork roast that my mother made. It had been slow roasting all day and the smell of a good solid meal filled the house.
But I dreaded eating the sauerkraut.
The taste was so bitter that I tried to avoid it at any cost. I would fill my plate with other side dishes, hoping my parents wouldn’t notice.
But as parents do, they knew exactly what I was trying to do. They insisted that I had to at least one bite of sauerkraut for good luck.
I hesitantly would pick through the bowl of sauerkraut to place just a few strands on my plate. Then I shoved it quickly in my mouth and took a bite.
I immediately followed it up with about 3 large spoonfuls of applesauce to get rid of the taste that lingered in my mouth.
Fast forward several years, and it became my turn to make this good luck meal.
Playing off my strong dislike to traditional sauerkraut I knew I had to make it more palatable for my family.
Why The Apples?
To the best of my knowledge, the apples have nothing to do with the good luck history behind the meal.
Although they play a huge role in the slow cooker pork roast, sauerkraut and apple meal. Apples are a great compliment to any pork recipe.
I am sure most of us are aware of the Brady Bunch episode of ‘Pork Chops and Applesauce’. That’s swell! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist).
So when it was my turn to make pork roast and sauerkraut I decided to add in some apples to balance out the bitterness.
And what goes with apples, cinnamon of course!
It may sound a little strange or out of the norm, but it makes the absolute best sauerkraut!
In fact, I never have leftover sauerkraut at the end of the day!
No matter how you celebrate New Year’s Day, and no matter what good luck tradition meal you make, we hope that this year will be the best one yet!
**If you are looking for another great way to eat pork and sauerkraut, try this BBQ Meatballs Recipe.
Mary and Jim
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Slow Cooker Pork Loin Sauerkraut and Apple Recipe
- 2-3 pound pork loin roast
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
- 2 large onions chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 4 cups sauerkraut
- 2 large apples cored and sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Remove any thick portions of fat from the pork loin roast and discard. Season the roast with salt, pepper and stone ground mustard.
Spray the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray and then add the roast to the bottom of the pan.
Add onions and garlic on top of the roast.
Pour the undrained sauerkraut on top of and around the roast.
Place the apples on top of sauerkraut and sprinkle cinnamon on top of the entire mixture.
Slow cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
Remove roast and slice. Stir cooked apples into the sauerkraut mixture and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms