Pork and sauerkraut is a traditional New Year's meal meant to bring luck in the New Year. This is my traditional oven-roasted pork and sauerkraut recipe that cooked to perfection without drying out.
Every new year’s day we pull out a large dutch oven and cook a pork loin roast nestled amongst tangy sauerkraut to eat as the first dinner on New Years Day.
Parts of my family are Pennsylvania Dutch and eating pork and sauerkraut is the traditional dish thought to bring good fortune in the coming year. In keeping with my family's German tradition, we will pull out a homemade jar of sauerkraut to serve alongside this traditional meal.
Be sure to add Hoppin' John recipe aka Carolina beans and rice for an added bit of good luck in the New Year.
If you are not wanting to take up oven space you can make this recipe for crock pot pork and sauerkraut or even a sous vide pork and sauerkraut.
🐖 Pork and sauerkraut ingredients:
- Pork loin
- Apple (optional) Granny smith apples is what I recommend
- Onion (optional)
- Olive oil
- Salt & black pepper
- Apple juice or chicken broth
🥰 Why this recipe works
- Pre-searing the boneless pork loin will ensure the meat has the best flavor.
- The long cooking time will give you the most delicious, tender pork.
- Pass a plate full of rolls or homemade biscuits to soak up the sauerkraut juice that has captured that delicious pork flavor.
👩🍳 Chef Tip
If you are not a fan of sauerkraut, add a drizzle of maple syrup, a bit of brown sugar or a heavy drizzle of honey to cut the tanginess of the sauerkraut.
👵 How to make mom’s recipe for pork and sauerkraut:
- Season the pork with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
- Heat a dutch oven or roasting pan on medium-high heat.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and sear the pork on all sides for at least 4 minutes per side.
- Remove the seared pork roast to a clean plate and saute the onion and the apple in the pork drippings in the pan.
- Deglaze the pan, with either apple juice or chicken stock being sure you are scraping up the pork browned bits, getting up all those great flavors..
- Replace the pork back into the dutch oven or roasting pan, fat side up, adding the rest of the sauerkraut to the pan.
- Place in a 350 preheated oven and cover with a lid or aluminum foil if the piece of meat is too tall for the pan. Cook for 2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads at least 145 at the thickest part of the meat.
- Remove from the oven and place the pork and kraut on a serving platter. Allow the meat to rest for 15 minutes under a piece of tin foil before cutting to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
👩🍳 Chef Tip
A good rule of thumb is to cook the pork for 25 minutes per pound. Adjust accordingly and be sure to check for doneness with a meat thermometer.
🥗 What to serve with pork and sauerkraut
Mom will have a few hot dogs and apple juice for the kids and some homemade applesauce made with granny smith apples because she knows the kids are not fans of the tangy sauerkraut. Kids know when all things sauerkraut have touched their food.
For sure we will have corn from the freezer and Aunt Cindy will make Rhodes rolls, because they are so easy! Beyond a simple dish of wide egg noodles smothered in butter, the following are traditional sides you can serve with pork and sauerkraut. Here is the full list of what to serve with pork and sauerkraut.
📝 Frequently asked questions, answers and tips:
This is the great debate on New Year's day. What cut of pork should we use this year? Should we use the boneless pork loin or should it be the bone in pork loin? Everyone has their favorite. The bone in loin will give you another layer of flavor but the boneless loin will be easier to carve. Pork tenderloin is not recommended because it will not hold up to the extended cook time in the oven. Save your tenderloin for your pork tenderloin lemon piccata.
I recommend searing your pork loin before roasting it. By searing the meat you are caramelizing the outside of the roast giving it color along with flavoring. Be sure your dutch oven is screaming hot before you place my meat face down in the pan. Do not move it or poke it for at least 4 minutes. You will know the meat is properly seared when you can easily flip it over with tongs without tugging too much on the meat to get it to release.
I suggest silver floss sauerkraut. It comes in a bag and is usually found in the meat department next to the pork or even in the refrigerator produce section. You are welcome to use canned sauerkraut but I wouldn't recommend it. You do you, but if you are asking, I recommend the bagged sauerkraut.
Apples and onions are completely optional in this recipe and my aunt is probably giving me the side eye for it right now for suggesting it but hear me out. By caramelizing onions and adding an apple to this recipe will add an element of sweetness to the sauerkraut, cutting the tartness. But if you are a sauerkraut purist, and love the tang of the kraut leave the apple and onion out. But if you are a newbie to pork and sauerkraut I suggest adding them.
Pork and Sauerkraut
There is more to a recipe than just the recipe card. Frequently Asked Questions within the blog post that you may find helpful. Simply scroll back up to read them!
- 1 3-4 lb Pork loin
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- drizzle Olive oil
- 1 Apple (optional)
- 1 Onion (optional)
- 2 pounds Sauerkraut
- ½ Cup apple juice (or chicken stock)
- Set oven to 350.
- Pat the meat dry and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.1 3-4 lb Pork loin, Salt & pepper
- Heat a dutch oven pan to high on the stove top. Add a drizzle of olive oil.drizzle Olive oil
- Place the meat, fat side up, into the pan and sear for at least 4 minutes to get good caramelization on the surface.
- Flip the meat to sear on all sides.
- Remove the pork to a clean plate and saute the onion and the apple in the pan until they start to take on color.1 Apple, 1 Onion
- Use some of the liquid from the sauerkraut to deglaze the pan, scraping up the pork bits.½ Cup apple juice
- Replace the pork back into the pan, adding the rest of the sauerkraut to the pan.2 pounds Sauerkraut
- Cover and place in the oven for 2 hours or until the internal temperature is at least 145.
- Remove from the oven and place the pork and krout on a serving platter. Allow the meat to rest for 15 minutes before cutting to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
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👩🏻🍳 Sarah Mock
Sarah Mock is a classically trained Chef and graduate of Johnson & Wales University. A culinary blogger for 14 years Sarah helps the home cook prepare her recipes with professional results.
Thank you. I’ve made pork and sauerkraut for years but never seared it first. I followed your recipe with delicious results. Definitely a keeper. Thanks and happy new year!
I guess a temperature would be helpful! Thanks for pointing it out Vickie. I have updated the post and the recipe card. 375
Looks great. What is the oven temperature? Thanks