Traditional Kielbasa and Sauerkraut to ring in the New Year

I didn’t know that eating pork is a New Year’s Day tradition, but Jon insisted on it and made a surprisingly delicious Kielbasa dish. I like Kielbasa and sauerkraut, but I wouldn’t normally write home about it. This dish is an exception. It add beers and brown sugar, giving the dish a sweet and savory kick with eat bite. We aren’t normally crockpot cookers either, but we wanted low-key and easy on our annual day of napping in front of the fire. The extended cooking time produced melt in your mouth, tender Kielbasa bites. What a great complement to our lazy stay-in-pajamas-all-day holiday.





  • 2 lbs. Kielbasa
  • 1 32 oz. package sauerkraut
  • 1 beer (we used Sam Adams Winter Ale)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seed


Cut Kielbasa into 3-inch pieces and line them on the bottom of the crockpot. Place sauerkraut on top. PLace sugar, beer, allspice, and cumin seed in a saucepan over medium heat and reduce until sugar was dissolved and it was slightly thickened. Pour over Kielbasa and sauerkraut. Turn crockpot on low and cook 6 hours.


5 thoughts on “Traditional Kielbasa and Sauerkraut to ring in the New Year

  1. My father always said it brought you good luck if you ate sauerkraut on Jan 1st. I will definitely be trying this one out!

    Cheryl Dafforn

    Volunteer Coordinator/Warehouse Manager
    Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana
    6316 Mutual Drive
    Fort Wayne, IN 46825
    Fax 260-484-9572

  2. Sounds really good. I cooked a very similar version on New Year’s Day, only I used pork loin because it was what I had on hand.

    It’s long be a family tradition for the first meal of the New Year to consist of pork and sauerkraut. It’s said to bring good luck and money for the coming year. Our other New Year’s food tradition is to have homemade cinnamon bread or rolls. Cinnamon symbolizes wealth and power and in mythology the phoenix rises from a magic fire made from aromatic spices and herbs including cinnamon. Thus cinnamon is also a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings.

    1. Thanks for the comment Fred. I saw your cinnamon bread tweet. I like that tradition! We usually do black eyed peas- also said to bring wealth. I can use all the wealth and luck I can get.

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