Did you know that eating pork and sauerkraut in the new year brings good luck? The tradition of eating pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day has spread over time and is now popular across the Midwest. My father made his own sauerkraut when I was young. I grew up loving anything pickled or fermented, so cooking with sauerkraut is common in our house.
Today, I’m making a recipe I came across when my kids were small. They enjoy it because the pear puree cuts the biting sour that can accompany sauerkraut. This sandwich is not only a way to bring good fortune to your new year, but a way to have your family and guests singing your praises. This is a dish that fills your home with amazing smells that will bring everyone to your kitchen. The ginger adds a bright freshness and the chutney will have you licking the spoons.
Knowing this sandwich will be the meal that follows a pork tenderloin dinner, we always make extra pork tenderloin so we are assured to have leftovers. I hope you like it as much as we do. I also hope that it brings you and your good fortune in the coming year.
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and halved, cored and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 tsp. mustard seeds
- 3/4 tsp. minced ginger
- 1/2 cup bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 lb. drained sauerkraut (1 1/2 cups)
- 3/4 cup pear puree
- 1 tsp. caraway seeds
- 2 lbs. pork tenderloin, cooked and sliced
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 2 baguettes, sliced lengthwise then cut into 6-inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 cups baby spinach
- In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Add pear slices and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add the brown sugar, vinegar, mustard seeds and ginger. Simmer over medium-low heat until slightly reduced and jam-like, about 30 minutes. Let the chutney cool. It might be tempting to buy store bought chutney, but please do not. This extra step is worth it.
- Meanwhile, warm your chopped bacon in a skillet until crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onion to the skillet and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the sauerkraut and cook, stirring until slightly dry, about 3 minutes. Add the pear puree, caraway seeds and chopped bacon and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer relish to a bowl and let cool.
- Add butter to a hot iron skillet. Add baguette pieces, sliced side down, to toast/ grill the bread. Spread the relish in the bottom halves of the baguettes and cover with pork slices. Season with salt and pepper and top with chutney and spinach. Add the top of the baguette and serve.