Crock pot pork and sauerkraut features tender pork loin slowly cooking in tangy sauerkraut and seasonings in this classic German New Year’s meal.
If you want to make your 9-5 job a little more exciting, whenever your boss gives you a deadline put young children down for a nap and see if you can complete your task before they wake up. I hurriedly threw together the photoshoot for this pork and sauerkraut recipe in mere minutes as my children were slowly waking from their mid-afternoon naps. As I am sure you can imagine, photographing food with a 1 and 3-year-old terrorizing the kitchen is not the easiest task.
Even if you are trying to wrangle small children all day long, this crock pot pork and sauerkraut recipe could not be easier to prepare for dinner. The ingredients simply get added to your slow cooker and simmer away while you worry about more pressing matters of the day.
New Year’s Pork and Sauerkraut
Eating pork and sauerkraut is a popular New Year’s tradition in Germany thought to bring blessings and wealth in the new year as bountiful as the number of shreds of sauerkraut in the pot. Like many other ethnic cuisines and traditions, this meal has taken root in America as well, being particularly popular with the Pennsylvania Dutch.
Best Cut of Pork for Pork and Sauerkraut
I find boneless pork loin to be the best choice for this meal. It is flavorful, lean, cooks up perfectly tender, and inexpensive to purchase. What more could you want? Some people use pork tenderloin instead, and it will certainly work well, but it has a much higher price point and the final result won’t taste much different.
Crock Pot Pork and Sauerkaut
Pork and sauerkraut is well suited to make in the crock pot. You can place all of the ingredients in the crock pot and let it cook away for 6 hours on low, but it is even better if you take the time to brown the exterior of the pork loin prior to placing it in the slow cooker. The browning of the meat adds a great layer of flavor.
I recommend using a 6-quart crock pot for this recipe. Using canned or bagged sauerkraut works perfectly well, however trying making homemade sauerkraut if you really want to make this meal exceptional. Oh, and don’t worry about the flavor of sauerkraut overpowering this dish. The brown sugar and apple really tames down the tanginess of the kraut.
Pork and Sauerkraut in the Oven
If you don’t have a slow cooker, or choose not to use one for whatever reason. You can easily make pork and sauerkraut in the oven. The best piece of equipment for this method would be a Dutch Oven. The pork can be seared in the Dutch Oven on the stove top with a little oil, then the remaining ingredients can be added, and the Dutch Oven can be covered and placed in a 350-degree oven until tender. I would expect this to take about 2-3 hours. If you love Dutch Oven recipes, check out my Beer Braised Short Ribs too.
What to Serve with Pork and Sauerkraut
The best side dish to serve with pork and sauerkraut is mashed potatoes. Light and fluffy mashed potatoes are perfect for soaking up all of the delicious cooking liquid pulled from the crock pot. Place a slice of pork on top of a scoop of potatoes, ladle over some kraut and juice and enjoy by the forkful!
If you are craving more German food, check out my Wiener Schnitzel recipe and make up a big batch of homemade spaetzle to serve with it! Otherwise, Sauerkraut and Dumplings is always an easy favorite.
Crock Pot Pork and Sauerkraut
- 3-4 pound Pork Loin
- 2 pounds Sauerkraut (with juice)
- 1 teaspoon Caraway Seeds (optional but recommended)
- 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 1 medium Granny Smith Apple (cored, peeled, and chopped)
- 1/4 cup Butter
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
- Add pork loin to a 6 quart slow cooker and top with sauerkraut, caraway seeds, brown sugar, chopped apple, butter, salt, and pepper.
- Turn slow cooker on low and cook for 6 hours, or until pork loin is tender but not yet falling apart.
- Cut the pork loin into individual serving sizes and serve topped with sauerkraut and cooking juices.
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