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Kielbasa and Sauerkraut

Kielbasa and sauerkraut are considered a good luck combination to eat on New Year’s Day. The green of the cabbage symbolizes money and its long shreds represent a long life. The pork of kielbasa symbolizes progress, with the Pennsylvania Dutch saying, “The pig roots forward.” Both pork and cabbage are traditional foods in Germany and Eastern Europe. In the United States, favorite immigrant recipes are now firmly established as American cuisine.

Recipe Servings: 8

Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time
4 hours 45 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free


  • 8 oz pork fatback, diced
  • 2 packages (16 oz each) sauerkraut, drained
  • 2 heads cabbage, cored and sliced into long, thin shreds
  • 5 links kielbasa sausage, sliced into ½-inch chunks


  1. Cook pork fatback in large pot over low heat, about 45 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Stir sauerkraut and cabbage into pork drippings. Bring to a simmer and cook until cabbage is tender, about 3 hours. Stir occasionally.
  3. Mix kielbasa into cabbage mixture. Cook 45–60 minutes to blend flavors.

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