Pork & sauerkraut is an easy pork recipe traditionally eaten on New Years Day. Make this in your slow cooker or electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot).
Updated 2018 with Instant Pot instructions
Eating Pork & Sauerkraut On New Years Day
Pork & sauerkraut is eaten on New Year’s Day to bring good luck for the upcoming year. The tradition of eating pork & kraut on New Years is largely due to the Pennsylvania Dutch community. Why do they eat pork? The tradition to eat pork on New Years is because pigs root forward, the same direction we should be moving in the new year. Sauerkraut is nothing more than fermented cabbage. It’s low-calorie, low-carb, paleo, and whole30. Sauerkraut is eaten because traditionally cabbage was easy to farm so it was aplenty during the winter season. It also preserves well with a long shelf life. Both my parents are both from Pennsylvania. Not Dutch country (Pittsburgh) but I still grew up eating pork & sauerkraut on a fairly regular basis. These days I pretty much have it only on New Years Day however it is great served year-round.
What Type Of Pork To Use
I like to use a boneless cut of pork (usually loin or country-style ribs) so I can shred it when it’s done cooking. But technically you can use any cut of pork whether it be loin, ribs, chops, shoulder, etc. I’ve even used baby back ribs when I couldn’t find country-style. Some cuts of pork are tougher than others so you might need to adjust the cook time depending on what you use. For example to get to the point of falling-apart-tender, a bone-in pork shoulder might need to cook an additional hour or so longer vs a boneless pork loin. You can use anywhere between 2-3 pounds of meat without making any measurement adjustments to the ingredients in this recipe. You may need to cut your pork to make it fit into the slow cooker or electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot).
In order for this recipe to be low-carb, there can’t be potatoes. But if you’re not following a low-carb lifestyle, you can easily add up to a pound of potatoes to this recipe without having to make modifications to the cook time. Waxy potatoes like red, baby or yellow potatoes work best with the slow cooker or electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot) because they hold their shape better during the long cook times. When I use potatoes, I usually add in yellow or red potatoes.
This recipes call for approximately two tablespoons of seasoning salt. Use your favorite seasoning salt or use my homemade blend below. Since my homemade seasoning salt already includes salt, it’s is not a separate ingredient in the recipe. If the seasoning salt you use does not have already include salt, you will need to add a teaspoon or so to the recipe.
Homemade Seasoning Salt:
2 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric
Instant Pot Pork & Sauerkraut VIDEO:
- 3 pounds boneless pork loin
- 28 ounces sauerkraut with in juice
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp seasoning salt
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 pound potatoes, chopped (optional)
- 1 tbsp oil (for electric pressure cooker)
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth (for electric pressure cooker)
- Add the pork (and potatoes if using) to the slow cooker.
- In a medium size bowl, sauerkraut, onion, seasoning salt, Dijon, garlic, thyme, and pepper. Add the kraut mixture on top of the pork.
- Cook HIGH 3-4 hours or LOW 6-8.
Electric Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot)
- Set Instant Pot to the high saute setting. Once hot, add oil and pork and brown a few minutes on each side. Remove pork and set aside.
- Add onion and cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Turn off appliance.
- Pour in broth and deglaze the bottom of the pressure cooker by scraping all the bits off with a wooden spoon.
- Stir in seasonings salt, Dijon mustard, thyme, and pepper.
- Add pork. Add sauerkraut on top of pork. If using potatoes, add on top of the sauerkraut. Close lid and seal valve. Set high pressure and cook for 25 minutes. When done, natural release pressure until the pressure pin drops down.
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