Pork and Pomegranate: Lucky Foods for the New Year {Recipe ReDux}

Christmas is only 4 days away!! Which means I’ve been holiday shopping like a mad woman and dreaming up what I’ll make this year for the festivities — LOTS of cookies, a roasted butternut squash and kale salad and some tasty cocktails, for starters.

But what to make next week for New Years? This month, Recipe ReDux tasked us with creating a recipe that includes “lucky foods” to get 2014 started right.

I won’t lie, I really wasn’t sure what foods were considered lucky. I asked my grandparents since I figured between the German, Czech and Armenian cultures, there had to be some kind of food that was considered lucky.

Nope — no ideas from the grandparents. I even asked my friends and the rest of my family, and nothing.

So I started searching for “good luck New Year foods” on the Internet (when all else fails, it’s nice to know you can google it) and found that many of my favorite foods — pomegranate, lentils, pork and greens — are considered lucky and enjoyed by various cultures to bring in a good New Year.

I figured, why not create a dish with a few of these ingredients? The more luck, the better! I think 2014 is going to be a good year!


The Lucky Ingredients:

Pork. Pigs are thought to symbolize progress, either because they only move forward (not backward) or because when searching for food, they push their snouts forward. You say potato, I say patato…point is we all want to make progress in the coming year.

Pomegranate. In Turkey, pomegranates are considered good luck with their red color (often symbolizes life) and their many round seeds. And you guessed it, round foods are thought to bring prosperity (think coins).

The Recipe:

Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate-Balsamic Sauce


For the pork:

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 2 cloves black garlic*, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (regular paprika would also work)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1 medium-size pomegranate)
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar


Preheat oven to 375.

Combine mashed black garlic, brown sugar, black pepper, rosemary, smoked paprika and salt. Apply the rub over the entire pork tenderloin. Bake on a greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet for 45-60 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 145 degrees.

While the pork is cooking, heat small pan over medium heat. Add balsamic vinegar and pomegranate seeds and let simmer until the mixture is reduced by half.

Slice pork tenderloin and pour pomegranate-balsamic reduction over the pork. Enjoy for a prosperous — and healthy — 2014!

*Black garlic can be found at Asian grocery stores or a specialty store. I found mine at Trader Joe’s. Black garlic is actually fermented and has a milder, sweeter flavor compared with regular garlic. If you can’t find it, substitute with finely minced regular garlic.


Want more good luck food inspiration? Check out these other yummy ideas from Recipe ReDux members. And have a very merry Christmas and happy New Year!


5 thoughts on “Pork and Pomegranate: Lucky Foods for the New Year {Recipe ReDux}

    • I was lucky and found the black garlic at Trader Joe’s. Asian markets will definitely have it otherwise Whole Foods would be a good option. Regular garlic tastes great too — just not as sweet as the black garlic.

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