Friday, January 15, 2016

Fagan Eats Paleo Recipe: Pennsylvania Dutch Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut

Paleo Pennsylvania Dutch Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut
Comfort Food!
Many cultures have a lucky dish to be prepared on New Year's Day.  The idea is that it's supposed to bring you good luck and good fortune for the rest of the year.  In Lancaster County, the Pennsylvania Dutch version of a good vibes New Year's dish is pork and sauerkraut.  

So why pork and sauerkraut?  Why not indulge in say filet mignon and lobster tail to ring in the New Year?!  First of all, I don't think filet and lobster are in the Amish wheelhouse.  But some believe that pork and cabbage are symbols of prosperity. I guess with pigs, I can grasp the symbolism.  They can be fattened up plump and all.  Excess equals abundance. But cabbage--I don't get.  There's just nothing sexy about cabbage.  I don't eat a piece of cabbage and feel overwhelmed by luxury.  But hey, i'm not one to argue with long-held symbolic associations.  It is what it is.  Others just believe that the whole pork and sauerkraut deal caught on as a superstition.  Either way-any good Lancastrian will tell you that pork and sauerkraut is the culinary ticket to a good year.  

As a kid, I didn't love sauerkraut.  But after a while, I warmed up to it, and ultimately now, I love it.  I firmly believe in recreating some of my Pennsylvania Dutch food traditions here in Northern California.  Because you may be able to take the girl out of Lancaster County, but you can't take the Lancaster County entirely out of the girl.  And anyway, I don't want to mess with my New Year's juju.   

So, I prepared this dish for my family when I was home and after I returned from my trip home for the boyfriend.  Like I said, I don't like to tempt fate.  This recipe is so ridiculously easy to make, it's barely a recipe.  You must, must eat it over mashed potatoes.  Fabulous mashed potato recipe soon to follow.  But I recommend you give this recipe a try, not only because it's delicious, but also because no Pennsylvania Dutch New Year is complete without it!  

Hope you enjoy!  --J  

Pennsylvania Dutch Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut

by Jamie Miller
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 to 10 hours
Keywords: crock pot slow cooker slow-cooker entree soup/stew ancestral gluten-free nut-free paleo primal soy-free sauerkraut pork tenderloin comfort food Pennsylvania Dutch German fall winter
Ingredients (6 to 8 servings)
  • 3 to 4 pounds of pork tenderloin
  • 32 ounces of sauerkraut (Usually one big jar or two smaller cans)
  • 1/2 cup of grassfed butter (I like Kerrygold)
  • 1 cup of water
  • salt
  • pepper
Generously sprinkle salt and pepper over the pork tenderloin.
Place the pork in the slow cooker, and then add the sauerkraut (with the juice).
Add one cup of water and place the butter (cup up into 1 tablespoon chunks) on top.
Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
Salt and pepper to taste. Be careful not to over salt.
Remove the pork tenderloin and shred with a fork, then mix together with the sauerkraut.
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