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New Year's Day: Roast Pork With Sauerkraut and Apples

New Year's Day has many food traditions; here in the South it is a mix of black eyed peas, collards and corn bread. The Germans and Pennsylvania Dutch bring us pork and sauerkraut. The significance of the pork was the fact that pigs "forage forward" without looking back. Cabbage is a late-fall crop, and making sauerkraut was the best way to preserve it, so the cabbage harvest from October was ready to eat right at the turn of the New Year. This recipe could not be easier for a delicious, slow-cooked meal on January 1, 2015, and the aromas that fill the house are amazing. Even if you have a few cobwebs from the final night of 2014, with a few simple ingredients on hand a delicious New Year's treat will be ready in a few hours, just in time for the college-football marathon. Assuming you still have a taste for alcohol on New Year's Day, this dish is awesome with a light and refreshing Riesling. 

Ingredients: (serves 6-8)

  • 4-pound pork loin roast, boneless
  • 2 pounds sauerkraut (with juices)
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seed
  • 1 apple, cored and quartered
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 slices smoked bacon
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries (optional)
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Whole-grain mustard

Preheat oven to 300° — place sauerkraut with juices into a large roasting pan and sprinkle with caraway seed. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper and nestle on top of the sauerkraut.

Spread out the apples and add broth, optional juniper berries and bay leaves, then cover the loin with slices of bacon.

Tent the pork with foil and roast covered for 2 hours. Remove the foil, rotate pan in the oven, and check for any lost juices (add more broth if necessary). Cook for another hour. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Slice the pork and arrange on a serving platter.

Serve with the apples, sauerkraut and mustard!

Much success and happiness in the New Year from everyone at Lot18 and Tasting Room!

Cheers!