Sauerkraut, Pork and Dumplings – a New Year’s Day tradition


Many people around the world believe, or at least, hold to tradition, that by eating certain foods on the first day of the new year, they will be blessed with good fortune throughout the year. I’m not sure if I believe in such things, but I do love good food, so why not start off the new year right with the possibility of good luck?

Being raised by southern parents (my mom from Georgia, and my dad from Alabama), my traditional New Year’s Day dinner while growing up wasn’t complete without black-eyed peas and stewed tomatoes. I’m even making some today, but I’m the only one who will eat them as hubby and kids don’t like them.

However, my family LOVES a German traditional comfort food: Sauerkraut, Pork and Dumplings with cut up hot dogs.  Being German and living in Germany for 2 years, I love this big old pot of yumminess and can’t wait to get it cooking on the stove.

In Germany, it is believed that eating sauerkraut on New Year’s Eve or day will bring blessings of wealth for the new year, at least as much as the number of shreds of cabbage in the pot. That, my friends, is a lot of wealth!  I know I sure could use any portion of that the universe and the good Lord can spare.

The pork is a symbol of good luck, well-being, and health. Germans like to pair up their sauerkraut with different types of pork dishes, ranging from schnitzel (which I love) to bratwurst to roast.  I use the latter for my traditional dinner.

I like to start out with a 5 – 6 lb boneless pork butt and four bags of Silver Floss Sauerkraut.  I only use Silver Floss for this recipe as it is the only one that adds the bite I like to the dish. I’ve tried off brands, natural, organic, unpasteurized (which I normally prefer any other time), but Silver Floss never fails to provide the flavor I’m looking for.

I then coat the pork with flour, salt and petter, then brown on all sides until I have nice, golden sear.

I then drain the fat, cover the meat with water, and dump in all the sauerkraut.

Once smothered in goodies, I bring this to a boil for about 2 minutes, then cover, reduce heat, and let simmer the entire day, at least 6 hours.

About 1/2 hour before we’re ready to eat, I cut up two packs of hot dogs into bite-size pieces and dump into the broth. Next I make my dumplings. I cheat and use Bisquick and the recipe is on the box. I have found after numerous times of making this dish, however, that it helps to remove the meat prior to dropping the dumplings in the broth. The box also says to bring the broth to rapid boil before dropping in the dumplings. If you want the dumplings to hold together, I suggest a slight, gentle boil. That way the dumplings stay high and fluffy.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the dumplings right now as I’m just starting this for the day; however, I might amend the post later on this evening to show you what mine look like.

And there you have it. My Pork, Sauerkraut Good Luck New Year’s Day dinner.

Do you have good luck foods you eat on New Year’s Day?

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8 thoughts on “Sauerkraut, Pork and Dumplings – a New Year’s Day tradition

  1. I’ve never heard of eating certain foods. We always had a Ham on New Year’s Day, but I think that was because Turkey was the faire for Christmas and Thanksgiving, and my mom wanted to change it up a bit.

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  2. My dad always insisted on black-eyed peas for New year’s day. He was the only one in the family who liked them, but I figured that brought luck for all of us. 🙂 My guy and I do love pork chops and sauerkraut. I use the crock pot but otherwise follow your recipe, liking Silver Floss also. (Never made it with dumplings though – love that idea!) And we like warmed apple sauce with cinnamon served with it. Best of a Happy New Year to you!

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