German New Year's Dinner to bring luck in 2012

Braised Pork Roast in beer and sherry, Butter Mash Potatoes, Sauerkraut with bacon in a tomato garlic sauce, and Sauteed Carrots, not just your run of the mill dinner feast for the holidays; however, for the millions with German heritage, it is a meal taken seriously on the first day of the new year, assuring good luck and plenty for the coming twelve months.

If you've allowed January 1st to go unnoticed, fear not, there is always next year. Furthermore, it is never too early to start planning for your next good luck feast. We begin with our Braised Pork Roast slowly baked in its juices, beer, and sherry.

3 to 4 lb Pork Roast
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
16 oz. bottle of beer
8 oz. of dry Sherry
1/2 teaspoon of cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
3 tablespoons of fine grain mustard (German)
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of cornstarch

This may seem like quite a long list of ingredients for Pork roast; however, you are also going to make the sauce that will accompany the roast. Start with a pan large enough to accommodate the roast with a lid over it. Over medium high heat, add the vegetable oil and brown your roast on all sides. Remove roast from pan and set aside.

Bring temperature down to medium and saute your onions and garlic until translucent. You may add a bit more oil if needed. Next, add the dry Sherry and deglaze the pan. Once deglazed, add the salt and pepper and stir well. Now add the beer and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat back to medium and continue to cook until liquid has reduced by 1/3.

With the garlic powder, sprinkle on all sides and return to the pan. Cover tightly with a lid and transfer it to a 400 preheated oven. Bake covered at 400 for about 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for approximately 1 1/2  to 2 hours.

Once your pork roast is ready, remove it from the pan and set on a cutting board to rest. While meat is resting, prepare your sauce. Set pan over medium heat and add the mustard. Stir well until blended. Add a few tablespoons of hot water to the cornstarch and stir until well dissolved. Now add it to the sauce and stir. Sauce should begin to thicken. Bring sauce to a light boil and continue to cook for about 5 minutes over low heat. Remove pan from heat and add your butter. Stir well until butter has completely melted into the sauce. Your sauce is now ready.

Slice the pork roast into 1/2 inch slices and present them in a large serving platter, slices slightly overlapping. Spoon a bit of the sauce down the center of the presentation and save the rest into a bowl for table side. This roast should serve 6 to 8 dinner guests. Serve hot alongside mash potatoes, carrots, and sauerkraut. Recipes and prep directions follow below.

A Sauerkraut like no other!

Although Sauerkraut is a very German dish, this preparation is certainly out of the norm; however, it is guaranteed to delight all guests, even those not too keen on the dish. By all means, try it before you decide. It's a wonderful preparation! This can be prepared while your pork roast is in the oven.

1 package of Sauerkraut (please, no canned stuff!)
1/4 lb. of bacon, cut in 1/2 inch slices
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/2 cup of vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
3 pinches of salt
2 pinches of sugar
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley

Begin by thoroughly rinsing your Sauerkraut over cold running water. In a large sauce pan, saute the bacon over medium heat until cooked. Now add the garlic and continue to cook for a couple minutes taking care not to burn the garlic.

Now, add the vegetable broth and deglaze the pan. If you find you need a bit more liquid, just add another 1/2 cup. Lower heat to medium low and stir in the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and sugar. Blend well. Once sauce begins to bubble, add the Sauerkraut and stir well until it is completely incorporated into the sauce. Set heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. As a final touch, add the parsley and lightly toss with a fork. Serve hot alongside pork roast and mash potatoes.

Simply incredible Mash Potatoes!

The first thing you will probably notice with this preparation of Mash Potatoes is, "oh my god, all that butter!" Stop and think about it tho, you're serving up to 8 people, so it really doesn't come to more than what you would put on a baked potato and you don't think twice about 2 or 3 pads of butter on that, do you? Trust the preparation, you won't regret it. You will have incredibly velvety and buttery mash potatoes without that bland and watery taste.

4 to 5 large Russet potatoes, peeled & halved
1/2 peeled medium parsnip
1 1/2 cubes of butter (12 tablespoons)
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon of cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of grated fresh Parmesan

In a large pot, add the potatoes and parsnip and fill with water until completely immersed. Bring to a rolling boil and cook until potatoes are tender but not mushy. A fork should pierce the potato and when lifted out of the water, the potato will fall back in after a couple of seconds. Immediately remove potatoes from the water and into a waiting bowl.

Pour water out of the pan and return it to the heat, reduced to low. Add the butter and cream and allow butter to completely melt. Add the Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and stir. Now add the egg yolk and blend it into the liquid. Don't allow the liquid to come to a boil. Remove from heat if needed. Using a knife, cut up the potatoes and parsnip in the bowl and transfer to the pan with the liquid.

Using a hand blender, beat potatoes on low for about 30 seconds, then on high. Add the Parmesan cheese and continue to beat on high for another minute or until potatoes are smooth. Taste for flavor and add a couple more pinches of salt if needed. Serve hot alongside the pork.

The carrots are easy to prepare. Simply use thin long carrots and saute over medium high heat with a bit of olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of vegetable broth and 2 tablespoons of butter, salt, and pepper, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for another 4 to 5 minutes until just tender.

1 comment:

  1. You are correct. That is a special feast.
    I cook my sauerkraut with onions, bacon and white wine. Yummy! Yes, we Germans are lucky to eat like this not just on New Year, right?
    Greetings from Colorado.