It is a Pennsylvania Dutch (German) tradition to serve sauerkraut and pork on New Year’s Day to ensure a prosperous year. Usually the sauerkraut is accompanied by mashed potatoes and dumplings. We have celebrated this tradition in my family since I was little (and for many years before I came along).
This tradition has been passed down from my dad’s side of the family, so naturally my dad is the chef for this special meal. Through the years he has developed his own special sauerkraut recipe. This year I made the sauerkraut in October with some cabbage I bought at the local farmer’s market and my dad added his special touch on New Year’s Day. He was also able to use some tomatoes that my mom picked green from her garden at the end of the season and was storing in the fruit cellar. I was hoping it would be good and boy was it!
For dessert I made a blackberry pie with all those blackberries Mr Chiots and I picked this summer. It was the perfect finish for a delicious meal!
In case anyone wants Dr Dale Meade’s famous sauerkraut recipe, here it is:
Spectacular Spareribs and Incredible Kraut
Guaranteed for prosperity
2 racks of pork spareribs (4 to 6 pounds of local pastured pork)
3 to 4 pounds of sauerkraut (preferably homemade)
4 finely chopped unpared tart apples (about 2 cups)
4 finely chopped or shaved (with vegetable peeler) large carrots (about 2 cups)
3 cups of home canned tomato juice (or V-8 Vegetable Juice)
1 cup of diced tomatoes
6 finely chopped dried apricots
1 cup of brown sugar
4 teaspoons of caraway seed
Cut ribs in pieces, season with salt and black pepper (approximately 2 teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper); place in a large stock pot with olive oil and brown well. Combine the kraut (which can be rinsed to reduce production of gas) with remaining ingredients; spoon over ribs to mix thoroughly until well mixed.
Simmer covered for three hours at low heat making certain the liquid covers the kraut and ribs. Skim off excess fat. Then remove lid and allow the kraut to simmer until some liquid had simmered away, leaving top of kraut exposed. Then make dumplings and place on top of the kraut and over, allowing the dumplings to bake for about fifteen minutes. Makes approximately ten servings and will warm your house for days.
2 cups of sifted all purpose flour
4 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of whole milk
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together and make certain the dry ingredients are well mixed. Add the milk and oil and kneed with pastry blender until moistened. Drop onto the kraut and cover. Do not lift cover and let mixture return to a slow boil for 12 to 15 minutes. This will make 10 generous dumplings.
Does anyone else eat sauerkraut for New Year’s to ensure a prosperous year? Or do you have another family tradition you celebrate?Filed under Holidays | Comments (16)