New Year’s Day Tradition

The New Year’s Day feast is the last of the seasonal feasting traditions where food plays a main role in the celebrations. My family tradition? Sauerkraut and Pork. Although since I’ve been off on my own all of these years, I’ve dropped the pork out of the recipe – even though it is supposedly the pork, not the sauerkraut, that is eaten for good luck. I choose to give good luck to the pig by letting it live. As a good German-American though, I love sauerkraut, in moderation, and with the help of my copy of Joy of Cooking, have come up with a splendid semi-veg/veg New Year’s Day recipe.

kimba’s Sauerkraut

1 jar of Claussen deli sauerkraut
1 yellow onion, sliced thinly on the round
1 tart apple, peeled and shredded
A bit of real butter
Some dry white wine – about a 1/4 cup
Hot, filtered water or vegetable broth  – about a quart or two, just enough to cover the kraut.
Caraway seeds if you like

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Use a casserole or soup pot that can be used both on the stove and in the oven. If your soup pot can’t be used in the oven, then transfer the cooked sauerkraut into an oven-proof buttered casserole for the second 30 minutes of baking.

Slice the onions on the round so that when they are unlayered they make rings.
Drain and rinse the sauerkraut.
Peel and shred the apple.

In a large casserole or soup pot, sautee the onions in the butter until clear and just starting to brown.
Add a splash of wine – this will deglaze the pan if the onions and butter browned.
Add the drained sauerkraut to the onions in the pot and stir.
Add the apple and caraway (if you choose to add it) and stir this all together.

Cover this mixture with boiling filtered water or broth.
Add white wine.
Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes on the stove top.

After the first 30 minutes, cover and slip into the oven for another 30 minutes.

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kimba’s Sauerkraut with Chicken Apple Sausages

The above Sauerkraut recipe is really great made with chicken stock instead of water or vegetable stock, and Chicken-Apple Sausages.

Make the Sauerkraut recipe as directed above using Chicken Stock.
Fry the Chicken Apple Sausages until they are done.
De-grease them on a paper towel.
Add them to the Sauerkraut before it goes into the oven and make sure they are inside the Sauerkraut, not just sitting on top.

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Melissa’s Sauerkraut with Pork

My aunt sent me her recipe, because really, sauerkraut without the pork is a sacrilege!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3 to 4 lb. pork loin roast
hot dogs
1 to 2 onions, quartered
1 jar of sauerkraut
1 can of beer

Bake the pork in a roasting pan with the onion.
When it is about half done, add the sauerkraut, a can of beer, hot dogs and kielbasa.
Let that cook, covered, for another hour or so to make sure all is well done and serve over mashed potatoes.

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Martha’s Crock Pot Sauerkraut

Packaged Sauerkraut
Smoked Pork
White Wine
Sugar or Honey
Juniper Berries (optional)
Black Pepper (to taste)

Take packaged sauerkraut, put it in the crock pot with chopped onion, chopped celery, a bit of white wine, some smoked pork and some sugar or honey. Can add juniper berries too if you can find them. Add pepper to taste.

Cook it at least eight to ten hours. Often I let it slow cook overnight.

It’s also good with ham hocks in this but I have made it with smoked sausage, or a strongly smoked bacon. I’m not sure where most people would get this type bacon. I go to Quebec to buy it at a butcher there – Quebec is only thirty miles from home.

My mother made sauerkraut with pork. I remember going to the basement to get the sauerkraut. It was in a big crock with a plate on the top held down with something heavy. Can’t remember exactly when my parents quit making sauerkraut. The pork came from our own pigs.

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The only real expected side to this dish is Mashed Potatoes.
But if you wanted to make more of a feast out of it for the holiday, other side dishes may include tossed green salad, steamed green beans or broccoli, sweet potatoes, and homemade applesauce.

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