My mother said there were other traditions of food to eat for luck in the new year, such as black-eyed peas in the southern United States, but for us it was pork and sauerkraut. It’s a kind of heavy meal, more from the fat than from carbs, but it’s one we look forward to every year, and only once a year. I like to serve it at midday on New Year’s so we have time to recover by evening, instead of going to bed so full. What made this meal so popular with my husband is that the sauerkraut comes out edible, more sweet (without sugar) than sour, and the pork just falls apart. The roasted potatoes also help counter the tartness of the sauerkraut. It might be the simplest of big meals to cook, everything in one pot, and then a side vegetable made at the end. As noted in the last post, we top it off with custard pie, not too sweet, not too filling, just cool and creamy.
New Year's Pork and Sauerkraut
Preheat oven to 300°
2 32oz bags of regular Silver Floss Krrrrisp Kraut or your favorite sauerkraut
Pork shoulder (butt), blade-in (about 5 lbs) or boneless pork butt, tied (about 3-5 lbs)*
1 lb kielbasa or smoked sausage, cut in 3 inch pieces—I used our favorite Hillshire Farm Polska Kielbasa©
2-3 lbs small red potatoes, whole or larger potatoes, quartered
- Place sauerkraut and all its liquid in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Set pork butt on top of sauerkraut and season with salt and pepper. Place lid on pan and roast in center of oven for 5 hours.
- Raise heat to 375°
- Add potatoes and pieces of kielbasa around roast. Return to oven with lid on and roast for 1 more hour.
The meat will be falling apart and the sauerkraut will be golden brown from cooking in the meat juices. Remove all components to a large platter and serve with a vegetable side—we had broccoli to add some needed green color to the meal.
*This dish won’t work out with a lean cut of pork, like a loin or tenderloin, which cannot stand up to such long cooking.
What do you eat for luck in the new year?