My Mom's dad was 100% German, so a family tradition was to eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day dinner to bring good luck in the new year. However it wasn't until 2015 when I actually liked the sauerkraut instead of pushing it to the side on my plate. I owe it all to my husband who decided to throw in an apple and apple cider vinegar which reduces the sourness of the sauerkraut. (Briefly rinsing it helps too.) We also add turkey kielbasa, which adds extra flavor.
Why this recipe works from a nutritional perspective: Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage which means you're getting a dose of probiotics along with a variety of phytochemicals that cabbage naturally contains. Phytochemicals are compounds produced by plants that protect our body's cells which are thought to reduce inflammation, preventing cancer and heart disease and the aging process. Cabbage is high in vitamins K (for bone health) and C (for healthy skin and immune function). Pork is high in vitamin B1 aka thiamine, necessary for a healthy metabolism. While most people don't have to worry being deficient in thiamine, those with reduced intake or limitations in nutrient absorption like in Crohn's disease, alcoholism, post bariatric surgery or anorexia may have low levels that manifest in impaired cognitive function.
This is an easy recipe that yields a delicious dish and even though I already consider myself one lucky lady, who wouldn't want a little extra luck and good health to boot?!
In Good Health,
Good Luck Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut
2 packages (32 oz) refrigerated sauerkraut, drained
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 boneless pork roast (2 1/2 to 3 lb), string removed, trimmed of fat
1 package (14 oz) turkey kielbasa, sliced
24 oz baby red potatoes small red potatoes, cut in half
2 medium Honeycrisp apples, quartered
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
ONE: In a colander drain sauerkraut and briefly rinse with water to remove some of the brine. Avoid rinsing for too long because will wash off too much salt resulting in a bland tasting dish.
TWO: In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, lightly mix sauerkraut, caraway seeds and apple cider vinegar. With spoon, make indention in center of mixture; place pork roast in center.
THREE: Arrange potato halves, kielbasa pieces, apples around roast. Spread 1 tablespoon mustard over roast.
FOUR: Cover; cook on Low setting 7 to 8 hours. Shred pork into pieces and remove apple pieces before serving.