I wanted to quickly share with you a recipe for the New Year’s Day meal I made yesterday: crockpot pork and sauerkraut with a side of mashed cauliflower. It’s easy, delicious, comforting and just healthy enough that you don’t feel guilty about eating it.
I grew up in Central Pennsylvania and every year we ate pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day. It wasn’t until this year when I told my friends in New Jersey about the tasty tradition that I realized not everyone did this. It turns out pork and sauerkraut is a Pennsylvania Dutch thing, which I probably should have known by now, but when everyone around you makes it when you are growing up, you tend to believe the whole country does it. Not the case, apparently. You learn something new every day, right?
Anyways, below is a two-part batch of recipes that I followed for the entire meal: AllRecipes’ Crockpot Pork and Sauerkraut, and Paula Deen’s Mashed Cauliflower which I served on the side as a lighter substitute for mashed potatoes. I know some people are turned off by sauerkraut, but if you like it you should definitely try out this recipe (any day of the year). Enjoy!
CROCKPOT PORK, SAUERKRAUT AND KIELBASA
Time: 6 hours, 25 minutes (25 minutes prep time, 6 hours cook time)
- 1 pound pork loin (I accidentally purchased pork rib loin, derp, but it turned out delicious and fell right off the bone. I would probably choose boneless if I made this again though.)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 lbs. canned/jarred sauerkraut (I used one large jar and one smaller can)
- 1/2 lb. kielbasa, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3.5 quart slow cooker (this is just what size we have, you could make this in a bigger slow cooker and adjust the ingredients as necessary)
- Baking sheet
- Aluminum foil
- Basting brush
- Preheat your oven broiler to high.
- Place the pork on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with thyme leaves, and season with salt and pepper.
- Place under the broiler for 10 minutes, until lightly browned in several places.
- Place 2/3 of sauerkraut in slow cooker. Arrange kielbasa pieces around the edges of the slow cooker, sprinkle some pepper, and place the roast in the center. Cover with remaining sauerkraut.
- Cover slow cooker, and cook roast 6 hours on high.
Time: 15 minutes
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1/3 cup chicken broth (I used low sodium chicken broth since there is plenty of sodium to go around in the sauerkraut)
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons sliced fresh chives, as well as additional chives to garnish, if desired
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Large microwave-safe bowl
- Blender or food processor
- Plastic wrap
- Chop cauliflower into multiple medium-sized floret pieces (here’s how).
- Place the cauliflower florets in microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 5-7 minutes, or until completely tender. (Paula’s recipe says 3-5 minutes but I needed closer to 7 minutes for my cauliflower to tenderize. It just depends on your microwave’s wattage! Ours is weaksauce compared to P.Deen’s, apparently).
- Place the cooked cauliflower in a blender or food processor. Add chicken broth, sour cream, chives, and salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Garnish with sliced chives.
Do you have any traditional New Year’s Day dishes? I’d love to hear about/try others!