This week, Chef Bill Fuller, of the big Burrito Group, is in the Pittsburgh Today Live kitchen getting ready to ring in 2012!

Pork and Sauerkraut
I make pork and sauerkraut every New Year’s Eve and make sure that there is a batch in the corner of an oven at the restaurant as well as in my house. Everyone needs the good luck it brings to eat pork and sauerkraut for the first meal in the New Year.

1 ea. 5-7# piece bone-in pork butt
½ C. Brown sugar
½ C. Salt
½ C. Black pepper
2-3 Tbs Dried thyme
1 ea. 12 oz dark beer, Porter or Stout
3-4 C. Cider
At least 2 # sauerkraut
2-3 # All-pork sausage, hopefully Serbian Kielbassa, cut into 1” chunks.

1. Mix sugar, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl.

2. Place pork butt in a deep baking dish with room around. Rub cure mix into meat on all sides. Place in baking dish with fat side up. Let pork butt cure in refrigerator overnight.

3. Scrape excess seasoning from pork butt. Remove pork butt from dish. Rinse dish.

4. Return pork to baking dish fat side up. Season top well with dried thyme.

5. Pour beer and cider around pork. Cover and place in a 325° oven for 4-6 hours. The pork butt is ready when the bone pulls out of the meat easily.

6. Add kraut and kielbasa. Allow to cook for another 30 minutes.

7. Eat at 12:01 January 1 for good luck all year.

Black-Eyed Peas
Somehow, I have added people to my life that lived some or all of their lives in the south. For them, I make black-eyed peas to eat with the pork and sauerkraut. While I don’t believe when they tell me their ritual is the real one, but I eat a bite of the beans right after the kraut. Better safe than sorry.

1 # Dried black-eyed peas
2 Tbs. Lard
1 C. Diced onion
1 C. Diced carrot
1 C. Diced Parsnip
1 C. Diced celery
A ham hock or two
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place beans in large bowl and cover with at least 1” excess water. Soak for 2 hours or overnight.

2. Melt lard in a large pot. Add onions, cook over medium heat until lightly caramelized.

3. Add remaining ingredients. Drain peas and add. Cover with water to about an inch above the beans.

4. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 90 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. If beans are still hard, simmer longer.

5. When done, serve with the pork from above.

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