I grew up eating the traditional pork and sauerkraut as my birthday dinner every year. I used to hate it. I would cry, scream, and throw a hissy fit not wanting to eat this “good luck” meal. No matter how big of a fit I threw, my parents would always make me eat a bite. I hated it…most people get to eat their favorite meal on their birthday! But not me, since I was born on New Year’s Day I had no choice it was always the meal. Now that is not to say I didn’t get to have my favorite meal, it was just usually the following day. Things sure have changed since those days when I would go tearing through the house trying to get away from the “dreaded meal”. Now I make this for my family every New Year’s Day for good luck and I have to say it is really delicious. The flavors of sharp sauerkraut and sweet apples mingle together to create an extremely flavorful, melt in your mouth pork roast. I usually serve this with mashed potatoes and applesauce to create a wonderful “good luck” meal for the new year. Happy New Year everyone!
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1 (32 ounce) jar sauerkraut, drained, plus 1 1/2 cups sauerkraut (about 1/2 pound)
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 (2 pound) boneless pork loin roast
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoon canola oil
1 small onion, sliced thin
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into wedges
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup beer
1 pound kielbasa, cut into 3-inch pieces
Cover the bottom of a slow cooker with the sauerkraut. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and caraway seeds.
Season the pork loin roast generously with salt and pepper.
Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook, turning frequently, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Place the pork on top of the sauerkraut.
Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add the onion, apples, thyme and garlic and sauté until the onion and apples are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the apple mixture to the slow cooker and arrange around the pork.
Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add the beer and bring to a simmer. Stir to dissolve the caramelized meat juices on the pan. Pour over pork loin in slow cooker. Top with remaining 1 1/2 cups of sauerkraut.
Cover and cook on low until the pork is fork-tender and shreds easily, 8 to 10 hours. In the last hour of cooking, arrange kielbasa pieces around the edges of the slow cooker pot.
Source: adapted from Williams Sonoma