Sweet and Tangy Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut – Take a break from the holiday cleanup and pile on some good luck with our flavorful take on this traditional New Year’s favorite!
For the last hour I was supposed to be writing a blog post. Instead, I keep getting pulled into the allure of Ikea’s website. Tomorrow the hubs and I are taking the kids for a magical morning of weaving in and out of furniture displays and an ethnic lunch of Swedish meatballs and lingonberry juice.
This Christmas was an especially mad whirlwind of holiday cookies and family fun with packages, boxes, and bags flying everywhere. I think the kids were extra wound up and enthusiastic this year, too. Between that whole mess and the fact that I also worked 2nd shift on Christmas day I’m officially beat! The toy tornado has certainly taken a toll on my home (and, I have to admit, on my mood). I might even be feeling the teensiest bit Grinchy…
Ikea has become a post-Christmas tradition in our family. With all of the “mom work” that the holiday entails it feels like a Swedish getaway for me. All those display beds and couches are so comfy. None of the displays have toys and their torn wrappings or cookie crumbs strewn everywhere. *bliss*
Normally on the day after Christmas I’m ready to get into the New Year’s fresh-starts-and-new-beginnings frame of mind. I’m a super type-A personality and I just love organization, goals, and meeting them. The last couple of years have been rough for goal-setting because I had a baby. The baby is now 2 and I feel like I’m finally starting to pull out of those high-mom-maintenance first 2 years of life. I’m ready to focus on more than just keeping the kids alive!
The first order of business for this New Year’s new beginning is to organize the kids’ toys and get them off of my living room floor! That’s where my beloved Ikea getaway comes in. I live in a small townhome. With Ikea’s Scandinavian roots, the store seems to “get” the needs of the space-challenged home. I’m thinking a wardrobe for James and some of that small storage for all of David’s action figures…
In addition to my family’s yearly Ikea getaway, I also start the year making my family pork and sauerkraut. This tradition goes all the way back to when my mom made it when I was a kid. Truth be told, it was always my least favorite holiday meal. I always find it kind of bland. Not nearly as exciting and Swedish meatballs and lingonberry jam…
The hubs, on the other hand, loves pork and sauerkraut. That means this porky tradition isn’t going anywhere. So the last few years I’ve been doing some pork and sauerkraut tweaking.
The end result is my Sweet and Tangy Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut. The meat is tender and flavorful. It’s now actually something I look forward to starting my new year with! Since it’s made in a slow cooker all you have to do is plug it in and escape to Ikea for the day while it cooks! The perfect way to kick off your new beginning!
- 3-4 lbs pork roast (shoulder, butt, or loin)*
- 2 lbs prepared sauerkraut (do not drain juices)
- 1 1/2 C chopped sweet yellow onion
- 3/4 C light brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp black pepper
- 3/4 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 3 Tbsp butter
- Prepare your pork roast if it hasn’t already been done by the butcher. You will want to remove the bone and tie the meat together with butcher's twine.**
- Layer the bottom of the slow cooker with the sauerkraut and place the pork roast on top of it.
- In a microwave-safe dish combine the yellow onion, light brown sugar, spices, and butter. Microwave on medium power for 1 minute and then stir to combine. Microwave for an additional 30 seconds on high power and mix until evenly combined. Pour the sweet onion and spice mixture over the pork roast.
- Cook on high power in the slow cooker for 3.5-4 hours.
- Once the pork is done cooking remove it from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board. Allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes. Next, cut away and discard the butchers twine. Finally, slice to your desired thickness. This is best done with an electric knife.
- Scoop the sauerkraut onto a serving plate with a slotted spoon so that some of the juice can run off. Arrange the sliced pork on top of the sauerkraut. Serve immediately***
*Pork butt is pictured here. My favorite cut is pork loin, but it was sold out at the grocery store!
*** SERVING SUGGESTION: I recommend serving the traditional way, with mashed potatoes and sweet corn.