In my family we always had the traditional Pork and Sauerkraut on New Year's Day for good luck. The reason Pork is traditionally served on New Years is that the pork is rich in fat and symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Also, superstition states that you should serve Pork because the Pig always digs forward (as opposed to the Chicken, which scratches backward).
I'm sure my relatives weren't aware of the reasons, they just did it as part of our heritage. And they liked their Pork.
I was never big on the pork n' sauerkraut (unless you count a hotdog at a ballgame), until I discovered this recipe a few years ago and have been making a modified version of it on New Year's Day ever since. Above is a picture of the lil' beauty I made last night using a small pork loin.
Here's a simplified version of the recipe:
New Year's Day Pork, Apples and Sauerkraut
- Pork Tenderloin (or chops)
- Bag of Sauerkraut
- 1 Cup Apple Juioce
- 1-2 Apples (Any apple will work but Granny Smith's are the best)
- 1 Onion
- Brown Sugar (to taste)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Take a bag of sauerkraut, drain and rinse it (this lowers the salt content – but don't rinse more than once or you'll begin to lose the flavor).
- Line a 9" x 12" (approx.) dish with the kraut, then add a cup of Apple Juice. Sprinkle some caraway seeds (optional).
- Lay the pork loin (or chops) on top of the sauerkraut.
- Add thinly sliced apples (about 1-2, any old apple will do, but Granny Smiths are best)
- Add a layer of thinly sliced onions. (Use a mandolin slicer if you have one – the thinner the better, since they'll crisp up at the end. Make sure you add onions to the top of the meat.)
- Sprinkle brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook at 350 degrees for about an hour or until the internal temp. is about 145 and the top layer of onions and apples are crisp to your liking.
- Remove the meat, let it rest for about 5 minutes.
- Slice, serve, enjoy, prosper.