Learn about the tradition of why people eat pork and sauerkraut on New Years Day for good luck, and an easy and tasty recipe for making your own dish.
Are you making pork and sauerkraut on New Years Day? Of course we are. Born and raised in southwestern PA and married to a Pennsylvania Dutch Country boy, the tradition of eating pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day is commonplace in our area. In addition, my husband and I both have some German ancestry so this practice has been ingrained into us from early childhood.
Why Pork and Sauerkraut on New Years for Good Luck?
Well, I’m told that back in the day having a pig meant a family was good to go for the winter. And since cabbage is a fall crop it was often canned or pickled to use in the winter. The process takes about 6-8 weeks making it ready just about the time the new year is upon us. I tried making my own sauerkraut. It was really fun, but since I am so impatient I normally just use store bought.
Other folklore speaks to the way pigs forage for food in a forward motion, never looking back, and that cabbage was slang for money at one time. By this time in the 21st century it is simply something we just do. After all it tastes delicious and well, and the promise of good luck is always appealing.
Wishing you a happy and healthy new year with lots of good luck.
Pork and Sauerkraut
- 2 lbs sauerkraut
- 2 lbs pork shoulder or butt
- 1 lb kielbasa
- 2 T brown sugar
- 1 t caraway seeds
Brown the roast in some olive oil in a large pot.
Add the sauerkraut brine and all.
Add the kielbasa
Sprinkle brown sugar and caraway seeds.
Add some water to just cover the entire roast.
Bring to a boil.
Turn on low, cover, and simmer for 3-4 hours or until the pork is easily pulled apart with a fork.
Serve with mashed potatoes.