National Dish of Croatia – Istrian Jota
|borlotti or pinto beans||5 oz.|
|smoked spare ribs||18 oz.|
|Smoked bacon / local Pancetta||4 oz.|
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
- Fill a bowl with water and add the beans, then allow it to soak for 24 hours.
- Rinse the beans and set them aside.
- Rinse the sauerkraut in water and drain.
- Peel and mince the garlic cloves.
- Chop the bacon/pancetta into very tiny pieces.
- Finely chop the parsley.
- Combine the garlic, bacon, and parsley by mixing it all together into a thick paste.
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes.
- Place the sauerkraut and spare ribs in a pot of water and bring to a boil.
- Fill another saucepan with water and boil the soaked beans.
- When the beans are half cooked, combine with the sauerkraut and spare ribs.
- Allow the beans, ribs, and sauerkraut to cook together.
- Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, and the paste of garlic, bacon, and parsley to the pot.
- A few minutes before the stew is finished, add the potatoes.
- Stir well and sprinkle salt to taste.
- Turn off the heat when the potatoes become tender and the stew has thickened.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the spare ribs. Serve the spare ribs separately from the stew.