Pork and Sauerkraut

Pork and Sauerkraut is a traditional dish eaten on New Year’s to bring good luck for the year ahead.

Pork and Sauerkraut is a traditional dish that brings good luck for the new year.

Pork and Sauerkraut is a dish based on traditional Polish and German cuisine. It’s a tasty mix of salty, sour, and sweet flavors that has become a New Year’s tradition in parts of America. It’s not clear to me why, but it’s believed that eating pork and sauerkraut on new years day will bring good luck and good fortune in the upcoming year. Who doesn’t want some extra luck for the year ahead? Sounds good to me!

To make this one pot roast, you mix sauerkraut, chopped onions, granny smith apples and caraway seeds (optional) together. The apples might sound odd to you here, mixed with sauerkraut as they are, but they offer a burst of soury sweetness that really works with the pork. You know, in the way that some people like having apple sauce with pork chops. It’s like that. The caraway, if you love it like I do, is always a great pairing with cabbage. Don’t leave it out unless you really don’t like it.

So, you mix those ingredients together and then put them into a roasting pan. Push the mixture towards the edges of the pan so that not much is on the middle bottom. Then put a nice pork loin in that bare middle of the pan. The roast should be fat side up so that the fat melts down into the meat as it cooks. Roast it at 300F until the internal temperature on an instant read thermometer is at least 145F, 24-27 minutes per pound. That is the minimum temperature recommended by the National Pork Board. If you like your pork roast to be more well done, roast it for longer.

Once the roast is cooked through, mix a bit of brown sugar in with the sauerkraut. This is the last bit of sweetness. Adding it at the end prevents the sugars from scorching during roasting.

Slice the roast and serve it with the sauerkraut alongside. Some fluffy white rice or mashed potatoes are great with this too.

I hope that your year ahead is full of luck, peace, and joy. Happy New Year!



Pork and Sauerkraut

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


Pork and Sauerkraut is a traditional dish eaten on New Year’s to bring good luck for the year ahead.


  • 3 lb. pork loin
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled and sliced in 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 16 oz. sauerkraut, not drained or rinsed
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder, divided
  • 1/8 + 1/4 teaspoons black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar


  1. Take the pork loin out of the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 300F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the apples, onion, caraway seeds (if using), sauerkraut, 1/4 teaspoon of the garlic powder, and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper.
  3. Transfer the sauerkraut mixture to a medium roasting pan, leaving behind any juices that accumulated at the bottom of the bowl. Push the mixture to the edges of the pan, leaving the bottom middle of the pan empty.
  4. Sprinkle the roast all over with the salt and with 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Place roast fat-side-up in the cleared middle of the roasting pan.
  5. Roast until an instant read thermometer reads 145F, 24-27 minutes per pound. Remove roasting pan from oven. Stir the sauerkraut mixture around a bit. Let everything rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Increase oven heat to 450F. Put roasting pan back into oven and roast for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven. Transfer pork to a cutting board. Stir brown sugar into sauerkraut. Slice pork. Serve pork with sauerkraut.


Pork and Sauerkraut

2 responses to “Pork and Sauerkraut”

  1. Gabriella Kadar says:

    Today I did both this roast pork with sauerkraut and the other recipe for just roast pork. I used the same cut
    for both because that’s how they are sold at Costco. It wasn’t loin but something else with a bit of skin on it
    and tied with string.

    They both turned out great! Tender and juicy.
    The sauerkraut reminds me of braised red cabbage.

    Thanks, for the simplicity.

    I sliced them up and put them in ziplocs and into the chest freezer. I’ve never frozen cooked
    sauerkraut before. Hope it ends up okay when warmed up in the future.

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Gariella, I’m delighted that they both worked for you. I also love the taste of the sauerkraut in this – sweet and tart, like braised red cabbage…exactly! Well said! I think it will all freeze well. If you do freeze it and then eat it later on, do come back and let us know how that turned out.

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