“Sretna Nova Godina” – Croatian Happy New Year Pork & Sauerkraut

Croatian New Year Pork and Sauerkraut Recipe

In the little corner of western Pennsylvania where I was born, pork and sauerkraut is the traditional food to celebrate the first day of the new year.  When I came to central Florida, our grocery store was lined with shelves of black eye peas and collard greens.  My world as I knew it was no where to be found.  Finally, I noticed a little larger supply of sauerkraut on the shelves and felt a little warmth come into my heart.  There it was, one of the main ingredients that would make my family’s traditional New Year’s Day feast.

Then it’s the pork, any pork: chops, ribs, roasts.  The meat department also had an abundant supply.  We could now celebrate in traditional Eastern European style.  Some potatoes and good bread.  We were there!

I don’t know about you, but I made black eyed peas once, back when Jimmy Carter was our president.  I figured if his family liked them then we would try this “foreign” food.  You see, Pittsburgh is known for many things, but black eyed peas is not one of them.  So, my adventure began by finding a recipe and then buying these little black-eyed peas.  Oh, I followed that recipe to a “T.”  Those little peas cooked all day; I really mean ALL day.  When my husband came home from work the first words out of his mouth were “What in the world did you make for dinner?  It smells like old cigars in here.”  Well, that pot of black-eyed peas went straight down the garbage disposal and were never seen again in my house.

Reddy Kilowatt (better know as my electrical-engineer husband) says he married me because of my mother’s recipe for sauerkraut and pork.  So we dine on this Croatian/Slovak (mom was Slovak, dad  was Croatian) recipe about 3-4 times a year.

To make my New Year’s celebration feast I give you the recipe like Mom gave it to me below.

*Now, the first time I made this it just didn’t taste like Mom’s.  So, as a new bride wanting to please my husband, I called home to find out I  just didn’t cook it long enough.  Hours, like 3-4, makes it perfect.

On the sidemashed potatoes are a must,  homemade apple sauce that I have spoiled my family with for years, and great bread of course for lots of dipping.

So, Sretna Nova Godina to you and your family.  May God bless you and yours in 2011!

Pork & Sauerkraut

Ingredients: (Feed about 12)

9 lbs center cut Pork rib roast, or tenderloin or chops
Sauerkraut (we use 3, 27-ounce cans)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 T Butter
1 Tsp Salt
3 T Flour

Directions:

Season the pork with salt and pepper an roast in the oven At 350 degrees F just until brown, about 1 hour.

In the mean time drain your canned sauerkraut in a strainer, taking one can of water and pouring it over the kraut to take some of the brine off of the kraut.  My mother taught me that this rinsing step was the secret to great tasting kraut.  Sauerkraut is too strong if you don’t rinse it before cooking.  Then. place the kraut over and around the pork and cook 1 hour at 325 degrees F.  The entire mixture along with the pork will become golden brown.

Note: As it roasts and gets a little more brown add some water and cook a little more. You are trying to make great tasting gravy. The longer it cooks the better the taste.

Then make a zapraska.  (Yup!  A zapraska).  That’s called roux in this country, melted butter, salt, flour and liquid (that liquid around the roast is great).  Melt 3 T butter in saucepan.  Add 1 tsp salt.  With a whisk, mix in 3 T flour, stirring constantly.  Let this flour-butter mix simmer for about a minute.  VERY slowly begin adding liquid (that from around the roast plus water to equal 1 cup).  Mixture should be allowed to bubble simmering until thick.  Slowly add to liquid in the roasting pan around the sauerkraut and pork.  If it seems too thick (should be the consistency of gravy) then add more water until desired thickness is achieved.

Pour the roux over the roast and cook a long time, 2 hours at least.  This long roasting of all the ingredients together makes that yummy gravy.

Stretna Nova Godina!

Roseddy

Print

Pork & Sauerkraut

Ingredients:

9 lbs center cut Pork rib roast, or tenderloin or chops
Sauerkraut (we use 3, 27-ounce cans)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 T Butter
1 Tsp Salt
3 T Flour

Directions:

Season the pork with salt and pepper an roast in the oven At 350 degrees F just until brown, about 1 hour.

In the mean time drain your canned sauerkraut in a strainer, taking one can of water and pouring it over the kraut to take some of the brine off of the kraut. My mother taught me that this rinsing step was the secret to great tasting kraut. Sauerkraut is too strong if you don’t rinse it before cooking. Then. place the kraut over and around the pork and cook 1 hour at 325 degrees F. The entire mixture along with the pork will become golden brown.

Note: As it roasts and gets a little more brown add some water and cook a little more. You are trying to make great tasting gravy. The longer it cooks the better the taste.

Then make a zapraska. (Yup! A zapraska). That’s called roux in this country, melted butter, salt, flour and liquid (that liquid around the roast is great). Melt 3 T butter in saucepan. Add 1 tsp salt. With a whisk, mix in 3 T flour, stirring constantly. Let this flour-butter mix simmer for about a minute. VERY slowly begin adding liquid (that from around the roast plus water to equal 1 cup). Mixture should be allowed to bubble simmering until thick. Slowly add to liquid in the roasting pan around the sauerkraut and pork. If it seems too thick (should be the consistency of gravy) then add more water until desired thickness is achieved.

Pour the roux over the roast and cook a long time, 2 hours at least. This long roasting of all the ingredients together makes that yummy gravy.

Stretna Nova Godina!

The matriarch of Live Pretty, Roseddy, lives with her husband and children in Orlando, Florida. She is a native of Waynesburg, PA, but she has called the Sunshine State home for over thirty years. In addition to being a fantastic cook, Roseddy is an accomplished seamstress and former Home Economics instructor. Her flower arranging talents are the stuff of legend, and she is a valued member of her church’s altar guild. Roseddy enjoys entertaining, traveling with her husband, and, of course, a good martini.

  Pin It

6 Responses to ““Sretna Nova Godina” – Croatian Happy New Year Pork & Sauerkraut”

  1. Rod — January 2, 2011 @ 11:34 am (#
    1
    )

    My family drives 35 miles just for the applesauce!

    [Reply]

  2. Bob Thibodeau — January 1, 2012 @ 1:48 pm (#
    2
    )

    That looks so YUMMY! You must make that some time when we’re in town!!!! I’m going to print the recipe for Joy. Our friends in the Villages have P&S for New Year too!

    [Reply]

  3. Mary — January 4, 2012 @ 6:36 pm (#
    3
    )

    reading about sauerkraut and pork is making my mouth water, gotta try your recipe this week-end

    [Reply]

  4. Laura N — July 31, 2014 @ 10:24 pm (#
    4
    )

    My grandma used bacon grease and flour for the roux.

    [Reply]

  5. John zupan — December 31, 2014 @ 3:01 pm (#
    5
    )

    Sretna Nova Godina!! Zivjeli !!

    [Reply]

  6. Mary — March 16, 2015 @ 2:43 pm (#
    6
    )

    I also make zapraska in my sauerkraut. I drain the sauerkraut, (save the juice for the zapraska) then add the sauerkraut to a head of thinly sliced green cabbage. I add salt & pepper to this and layer a thinly sliced onion with the kraut-cabbage mix. I peel & slice 3-4 cloves of garlic. using a small knife, I make slits in the roast and stuff a tiny slice of garlic into the slit. Salt & pepper are next and then i brown the roast in a little vegetable oil. Then it goes in the roasting pan with the cabbage-kraut mix and I seal the pan with heavy duty foil. i roast this in a 350 oven for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours. Then uncover and with a large spoon remove any liquid that you can. Melt the butter in a skillet and add 1 thinly sliced onion and saute until golden. Remove the onion. Whisk in little flour at a time while adding the sauerkraut juice a little at a time, until it begins to thicken. Keep warm over very low flame. Add the liquid from around the roast, mixing all together. Then add to sauerkraut in roasting pan. Lay the same foil over top loosely and roast another 15 to 20 minutes. You will enjoy a richly flavored, creamy sauerkraut with your delicious pork roast.

    [Reply]

Leave a Comment