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Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut Recipe

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Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut

Slow cooker pork and sauerkraut is the perfect comfort food for any time of year. It’s a hearty, one-pot meal that combines tender pork with tangy sauerkraut, making each bite delicious and satisfying.

Using a slow cooker makes this dish incredibly easy to prepare. Simply add your ingredients, like pork tenderloin or ribs, sauerkraut, potatoes, onion, and your favorite seasonings, and let the slow cooker do all the work. By dinner time, you’ll have a meal that’s not only tasty but also involves minimal cleanup.

For a bit of extra flavor, some recipes suggest adding apple juice, apples, or caraway seeds. These ingredients can give a sweet and savory twist to the traditional dish, making it even more enjoyable for the whole family.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Here’s what you’ll need:


  1. Pork: You can use pork loin, pork shoulder, or pork tenderloin. Each cut brings a different texture and flavor.



  2. Sauerkraut: Drain it or keep the juice, depending on your taste preference. Canned or jarred sauerkraut works fine.



  3. Onion: Sliced onions add flavor and moisture. You can substitute it with shallots for a milder taste.



  4. Apples: Sliced apples add sweetness. If you don’t have apples, pears work too.



  5. Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves bring a savory taste. Garlic powder is a quick substitute.



  6. Caraway Seeds: These seeds add a distinctive flavor. If you don’t like caraway, you can skip them.



  7. Butter: Adds richness. You can use margarine or a plant-based butter as a substitute.



  8. Apple Juice: Helps to moisten the dish. If you prefer, chicken broth or white wine can substitute.



  9. Potatoes: They make the dish heartier. Sweet potatoes or carrots can be used instead.



  10. Seasonings: Use salt and pepper to taste. You can also add paprika or thyme if you like.


You can easily mix and match these ingredients based on your preferences or what’s available in your kitchen. This will ensure your slow cooker pork and sauerkraut turns out delicious each time.

Instructions


  1. Season the Pork
    Begin by seasoning your pork roast. Use salt and ground black pepper. You can also add spices like paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder for extra flavor.



  2. Sear the Meat (Optional)
    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the pork on all sides. This step is optional but adds a nice texture.



  3. Prepare the Slow Cooker
    Place the seasoned or browned pork in your slow cooker. Arrange it in the center.



  4. Add Sauerkraut
    Pour the sauerkraut and its juice over the pork. You can drain half of the juice if you prefer a milder flavor.



  5. Add Vegetables (Optional)
    If you like, add sliced onions and apples around the pork. They complement the flavors well.



  6. Season Again
    Sprinkle in additional spices like celery seed or caraway seeds.



  7. Add Liquid
    Pour in up to 1 cup of water or broth if needed. This keeps the dish from drying out.



  8. Cook
    Cover your slow cooker. Set it to low and cook for 8 to 10 hours. If you’re in a hurry, you can set it on high for about 4 to 5 hours.



  9. Check Occasionally
    After around 8 hours, check the mixture. Add more liquid if it seems dry.



  10. Serve
    Once the pork is tender and fully cooked, it’s ready to serve. Enjoy your meal!


Tips, Tricks & Storing

Browning the Meat: Browning your pork in a skillet before adding it to the slow cooker improves flavor. Just a few minutes on each side is enough.

Season Generously: Don’t be shy with the salt, pepper, and other spices. Well-seasoned pork makes a big difference.

Adding Flavor: Try adding apple slices or onions for extra flavor. They blend well with the pork and sauerkraut.

Liquid Control: If your sauerkraut is too juicy, drain some of the liquid. This prevents the dish from becoming too watery.

Cooking Time: For the best results, cook on low for 8-10 hours. This ensures the pork becomes tender and absorbs all the flavors.

Storage:

  • Fridge: You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer: For longer storage, freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

Reheating: Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave to avoid drying out the meat. Add a splash of water if needed.

Batch Cooking: Make a big batch to save time later. This dish freezes well, making it perfect for meal prep.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

You can play with different ingredients to give your slow cooker pork and sauerkraut a unique twist.

Flavor Tweaks

  • Apple Juice: Substitute water with apple juice for a sweet touch.
  • Caraway Seeds: Add caraway seeds for an aromatic flavor.
  • Onions & Apples: Mix in sliced onions and apples for extra depth.

Protein Choices

  • Pork Tenderloin: Opt for a leaner cut for a healthier dish.
  • Pork Shoulder: Choose this for more tender, juicy meat.

Side Dish Ideas

  • Mashed Potatoes: Serve alongside for a classic pairing.
  • Crusty Bread: Great for soaking up the delicious juices.
  • Coleslaw: Adds a refreshing crunch to your meal.

Cooking Tips

  • Low & Slow: Cook on low for 8-10 hours for the best flavor.
  • Quick Cook: Use the high setting for 4-5 hours if you’re in a hurry.
  • Adding Liquids: If the mixture gets dry, add more apple juice or water.

Feel free to experiment with these variations to make the dish your own.