Our traditional New Year’s meal is pork and sauerkraut and it is meant to bring good luck in the New Year. This sous vide pork and sauerkraut recipe is amazing because you can choose the doneness of the pork without over cooking it.
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 don’t have a sous vide circulator you can make an oven-roasted pork and sauerkraut recipe or even slow cooker pork and sauerkraut recipe with amazing results as well. There are benefits to each cooking method but the crock pot recipe is super simple and very much a set it and forget it type of meal.
Sous Vide Pork and Sauerkraut ingredients:
- Pork loin
- Apple (optional)
- Onion (optional)
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
What cut of pork should be used?
In this recipe I am using a boneless pork loin. The bone in will give you another layer of flavor but the boneless loin will be easier to carve. The bone in may also puncture a sous vide bag, depending on the quality of the bag and the placement of the bone. 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.
Should you sear the pork before placing in the sous vide bag?
I recommend searing your pork before cooking it in the sous vide bag. By searing the meat you are caramelizing the outside of the roast giving it color along with flavoring. Be sure your pan is screaming hot before you place me 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. Also be sure the outside is cooled enough so it won’t melt or compromise the integrity of the sous vide bag.
More pork recipes:
Can I leave out the apples and onions in this recipe?
Apples an onions are completely optional in this recipe and my Grandma is probably fainting 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.
What is the best sauerkraut for this recipe?
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.
How big of a bag should I use?
Be sure the bag that you are going to use to sous vide your pork is big enough to handle the size of the piece of meat. The bags that I had were not big enough so I had to pull out my Food Saver roll of bags with the gusset. Just be sure to make the gussets flat before sealing. I also do a double seal, I have trust issues.
I also will use my gusset bags when I am making sous vide pork shoulder. 24 hours in the sous vide and then 2 hours on the smoker or in the oven. Pure perfection!
What temperature should I cook the pork?
Ah! The question everyone wants to know. I cook my pork at 150 for 12 hours. 150 may be too high and too done for some people. But keep in mind I grew up with pork that was VERY done and the struggle was always to get the pork NOT DRY. So 150 is NOT DRY for me but over done for others.
Pork checkoff recommends a minimum of 145. See their visual representations of doneness in their pork temperature charts. With sous vide keep in mind that temperature = doneness and time= texture. So the longer the time the more tender the meat.
How to cook sous vide pork and sauerkraut:
- Pat the meat dry.
- Place the meat, fat side up, into the pan and sear for at least 4 minutes.
- Flip the meat to sear on all sides.
- Remove the pork and place in the sous vide bag.
- Saute the onion and the apple in the pan.
- Deglaze the pan, scraping up the pork bits.
- Pour the apples, onions and deglaze into the sous vide bag along with the rest of the sauerkraut.
- Sous vide for 12 hours.
- Remove from the water bath and place the pork and krout on a serving platter.
***If not using apples and onions in this recipe, still sear the pork and deglaze the pan with sauerkraut juice.
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Sous Vide Pork and Sauerkraut
- 1 3-4 lb Pork loin
- 2 pounds Sauerkraut
- 1 Apple optional
- 1 Onion optional
- drizzle Olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Pat the meat dry and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
- Heat a heavy bottom pan to high on the stove top. Add a drizzle of 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, cool slightly and place in the sous vide bag.
- Saute the onion and the apple in the pan until they start to take on color.
- Use some of the liquid from the sauerkraut to deglaze the pan, scraping up the pork bits.
- Pour the apples, onions and deglaze into the bag along with the rest of the sauerkraut.
- Remove the air from the bag and seal. Double seal if desired.
- Lower the sous vide bag into a 150 bath and cook for 12 hours.
- Remove from the bath and place the pork and krout on a serving platter.
Sarah Mock is a classically trained Chef and graduate of Johnson & Wales University. A culinary blogger for 12 years Sarah helps the home cook prepare her recipes with professional results.