National Dish of Croatia – Istrian Jota

June 10, 2017  Nationalfoody Avatar
National Dish of Croatia – Istrian Jota


borlotti or pinto beans 5 oz.
sauerkraut 10 oz.
potatoes 7 oz.
smoked spare ribs 18 oz.
Smoked bacon / local Pancetta 4 oz.
garlic 2/3 oz.
bay leaves 2
peppercorns 2-3

Istrian Jota is a popular stew eaten in Istria and other parts of northwestern Croatia. The stew is made from dried beans and smoked meats like pancetta and spare ribs. It is seasoned with a lot of garlic. The main ingredient of Istrian Jota is sauerkraut which hints at the Austrian and Hungarian origins of this dish.

Directions for Making Istrian Jota

  1. Fill a bowl with water and add the beans, then allow it to soak for 24 hours.
  2. Rinse the beans and set aside.
  3. Rinse the sauerkraut in water and drain.
  4. Peel and mince the garlic cloves.
  5. Chop the bacon/pancetta into very tiny pieces.
  6. Finely chop the parsley.
  7. Combine the garlic, bacon, and parsley by mixing it all together into a thick paste.
  8. Peel the potatoes and cut into cubes.
  9. Place the sauerkraut and spare ribs in a pot of water and bring to a boil.
  10. Fill another saucepan with water and boil the soaked beans.
  11. When the beans are half cooked, combine with the sauerkraut and spare ribs.
  12. Allow the beans, ribs, and sauerkraut to cook together.
  13. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns and the paste of garlic, bacon, and parsley to the pot.
  14. A few minutes before the stew is finished, add the potatoes.
  15. Stir well and sprinkle salt to taste.
  16. Turn off the heat when the potatoes become tender and the stew has thickened.
  17. Use a slotted spoon to remove the spare ribs. Serve the spare ribs separately from the stew.

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