Pork and Sauerkraut

Happy New Year! Enjoy this tasty New Year’s Day tradition for good luck and success in 2021 (we can sure use it), Viel Glück!

Also an ideal restorative (if you overindulged a touch on New Year’s Eve), this roast is a snap to throw together and, of course, makes a great winter weekend meal any other time of the season. The sauerkraut is gussied up with apples, white wine, and a touch of brown sugar. The pork is roasted to a delightfully tender, fall apart finish thanks to a slow-n-low roast while nestled in the sauerkraut. Pigs and cabbage are lucky (obvs!) and delish, so start the new year off with a positive porcine pop!

Pork and Sauerkraut

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print
Canned or jarred sauerkraut has the best flavor, no preservatives, and holds together when cooking, so avoid the bagged stuff in the refrigerator case. I like to leave the skin on the apple for a pop of color in the sauerkraut, but feel free to peel them if you prefer. This is a great way to use up any leftover Champagne from New Year’s Eve, just substitute it in place of the dry white wine that is added to the sauerkraut. Pork loin (not tenderloin!) is the best choice of cut and slices best, but a pork butt or even shoulder will work in a pinch since this recipe roasts long enough. Although it doesn’t “seal” in anything (as we were wrongly told for so long), browning all sides of the pork roast imparts great flavor to both the meat and the sauerkraut, as well as deliciously browning the butter during this process!

Ingredients

  • 4 pound pork roast, loin or butt
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium tart apple, 1/2” dice
  • 28 ounce can/jar of sauerkraut
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or Champagne
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1-3 tablespoons light brown sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325º F.

Working with a pork roast at room temperature, trim the fat cap to 1/4″ thick. If the roast is tied with string, leave the ties on throughout cooking and remove just before serving. Evenly sprinkle salt and pepper over all sides of the roast. Melt 2 tablespoon of butter in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Pat the roast dry with paper towels and brown all sides of the roast until caramel colored and shiny, 3-4 minutes a side – use tongs to steady the roast if needed. Once all sides and the ends of the roast are browned, set aside on a clean plate.

Melt another tablespoon of butter in the Dutch oven if the pot is dry and sauté the diced apples for 3-5 minutes until they are fragrant and slightly softened. Set aside half of the apples for after the pork is finished roasting. Add the sauerkraut, including any juices, to the remaining apples in the pot. Make sure to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Stir in the white wine (or Champers) and caraway seeds. Taste and add light brown sugar 1 tablespoon at a time to taste.

Bring the sauerkraut up to a boil and then turn the heat down to low. Pour any juices that have come out from resting the pork roast into the sauerkraut and stir in. Make a well in the center of the sauerkraut and place the pork roast in the pot with the fat cap up. Scoop some of the sauerkraut on top of the roast, burying it. Cover the Dutch oven and transfer to the preheated oven.

Roast for 2.5 to 3 hours, turning the roast over halfway through so the fat cap is on the bottom and rebury it in the sauerkraut. For the last 15 minutes of cooking, uncover the Dutch oven and turn the roast again so the fat cap is facing up. The roast needs to reach 150º F to be done.

Take the pot out of the oven and, using a large pair of tongs, remove the pork roast to a cutting board to rest, cover it with aluminum foil. Give the sauerkraut in the pot a stir, scraping down any browned bits from the sides of the pan into the sauerkraut. Stir in the reserved half of the sautéed apples and recover the pot. Allow the roast to rest for 15 minutes before slicing thickly. Serve over the sauerkraut and enjoy!

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