Jota, Slovenian sauerkraut stew

What can take you home the fastest – a car, a plane, or homemade food? For me food would be the answer to this question. It’s a funny feeling when you eat something from home in another country, it’s comforting, makes you feel like you’re home (not that I don’t feel comfortable where I am now, but home will always be home). When I moved to Belgium I realized that I miss the food which I hated as a child, but came to love growing up. I also realized I never watched my mother or grandmother make it, even though they told me countless times: “Come and watch me cook, you will need it one day!”. My answer to those comments was always: “I don’t like that food, I don’t need to learn how to make it.” Cooking was the last thing on my mind when I was a teenager. Well now I’m on my own and I sometimes regret I didn’t pay more attention in the past.Jota-2
Kaj te lahko najhitreje ponese domov – avto, letalo ali domača hrana? Zame je odgovor na to vprašanje hrana. Zelo smešen je občutek, ko ješ domačo hrano v drugi državi, zelo je prijetno, počutiš se, kot da si doma (ne, da se ne počutim prijetno, kjer sem zdaj, ampak dom je le dom). Ko sem se preselila v Belgijo sem ugotovila, da pogrešam hrano, ki sem jo sovražila ko sem bila otrok, a sem jo vzljubila ko sem odrasla. Ugotovila sem tudi, da nisem nikoli spremljala mame ali none, ko sta jo pripravljali, kljub temu, da sta mi neštetokrat rekli: “Pridi sem in poglej, kako se to skuha, enkrat boš to rabila!”. Moj odgovor na te kometarje je bil vedno: “Te hrane ne maram in se mi je ni potrebno naučiti kuhat!”, kuhanje mi je bila res zadnja stvar na svetu, ko sem bila najstnica. No, zdaj sem na svojem in včasih obžalujem, da ju nisem bolj poslušala.
Jota-4
The other day I found sauerkraut in the store. I was happy as a child on Christmas morning. It was there on display for everybody to see, normally when I need it, I really have to search for it in different stores, but now it came to me just like that. I knew immediately what I will use it for, the jota. Jota (pronounced, like the Greek letter iota, or if you prefer like Yoda with a “t” instead of “d”) is one of my favourite Slovenian dishes. It’s one of those foods you eat when it’s cold, it’s healthy, hearty, it tastes like home to me and it’s delicious. Delicious if you like sauerkraut that is, because this dish is full of it. Sauerkraut is what makes it healthy, it’s loaded with vitamin C and it’s very good for your digestive health (mark my words). 
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Zadnjič sem v trgovini našla kislo zelje. Bila sem vesela kot otrok na Božično jutro. Kar tam je bilo, vsem na očeh, ponavadi moram preiskati več trgovin, ko ga potrebujem, ampak tokrat je zelje prislo k meni. Takoj sem vedela, kako ga bom porabila, naredila bom joto. Jota je ena mojih najljubših jedi. Je ena tistih jedi, ki pridejo spet na plano, ko se shladi, je zdrava, krepka, ima okus po domu in ta okus je odličen. Odličen, če ti je všeč kislo zelje, zato ker jota ga je polna. Kislo zelje je tisto, ki joto naredi zdravo, je polno vitamina C in blagodejno vpliva na prebavila.
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There are two types of jotas, Karst jota and Vipava valley jota, they are named afer two Slovenian regions Karst and Vipava valley where they are traditionally prepared. I am not 100% sure what the difference is, but I think the one from Karst has also tomato sauce in it, which I don’t use. It’s the dish that tastes even better the day after, it’s great to make in large quantities as it freezes well and it can be a perfect make ahead meal. If you ask me, it should be eaten with a piece of fresh bread, but you can, of course, have it your way. 

Enjoy the goodies!

Jota
Serves 6
Hearty, healthy, sauerkraut stew.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups sauerkraut
  2. 500 g (1 lb) smoked bacon (or other pork meat)
  3. 2 cups water
  4. 3 cloves garlic
  5. 1 bay leaf
  6. 1 tsp caraway seeds
  7. 2 cups brown beans (soaked overnight if using fesh)
  8. 8 medium potatoes
  9. 1 big onion
  10. 3 tbsp oil (canola, olive, sunflower)
  11. 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  12. 3-4 cups water
  13. 2 bay leaves
  14. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Wash the sauerkraut with running water.
  2. Cut the bacon (or other meat) in pieces.
  3. Place the sauerkraut and the meat in a pan with 2 cups of water, garlic, bay leaf and caraway seeds.
  4. Cook on medium heat for about 40 min.
  5. If using fresh beans (presoaked overnight) - cook the beans until tender (if using canned beans skip this step).
  6. Peel and cut the potatos in bite size pieces.
  7. Cook the potatos in salty water.
  8. Chop the onion.
  9. Heat the oil in a deep pan or dutch oven, add the onion and saute until translucent.
  10. Add the flour mix a bit and 1 cup of water (mix constantly so that no lumps form).
  11. Drain the sourkraut with the meat, the beans and the potatoes and add everything to the big pan.
  12. Add so much water, that it just covers all the ingredients.
  13. Add the remaining bay leaves.
  14. Cook on medium heat for 1 hour so that all the flavors come together.
  15. Add the salt and pepper if needed.
  16. Serve warm.
Oh the Goodies http://ohthegoodies.com/
Jota-6
Obstajata dve vrsti jote, kraška in vipavska. Nisem 100% prepričana kakšna je razlika, ampak mislim da ima kraška tudi paradižnikovo mezgo. To je ena tistih jedi, ki je se boljša pogreta kot pa sveža. Z lahkoto jo pripravimo v veliki količini, primerna je za zamrzovanje in je idealna jed, ki jo lahko pripravimo vnaprej. Po mojem mnenju je najboljša s kosom svežega kruha, vi jo pa lahko užijete kakor vam paše.

Uživajte v dobrotah! 

Jota
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 kg kislega zelja
  2. 500 g prekajene svinjine
  3. 2 kozarca vode (cca 0,5 l)
  4. 3 stroki česna
  5. 1 lovorjev list
  6. 1 čajna žlička semen kumine
  7. 500 g fižola (če uporabljamo svež fižol, ga namočimo preko noči)
  8. 8 srednje velikih krompirjev
  9. 1 velika čebula
  10. 3 žlice olja
  11. 1 žlica moke
  12. 3-4 kozarci vode (0,5-1 l)
  13. 2 lovorjeva lista
  14. sol in poper
Instructions
  1. Kislo zelje operemo pod tekočo vodo.
  2. Slanino narežemo na kocke.
  3. Kislo zelje in meso združimo v globoki kozici, prelijemo z vodo in dodamo česen, lovorjev list in semena kumine.
  4. Na zmernem ognju kuhamo 40 min.
  5. če uporabljamo svež fižol, le tega skuhamo (predhodno namočenega), če uporabljamo fižol iz konzerve ta korak preskočimo.
  6. Krompir olupimo, narežemo na kocke in skuhamo v slani vodi.
  7. Sesekljamo čebulo.
  8. V kozici segrejemo olje, dodamo čebulo in kuhamo, da ta postekleni.
  9. Dodamo moko, premešamo in prilijemo kozarec vode (mešamo, da se ne naredijo grudice).
  10. Zelje z mesom, fižol in krompir ocedimo in vse skupaj dodamo k čebuli.
  11. Prilijemo toliko vode, da so vse sestavine pokrite.
  12. Dodamo preostala lovorjeva lista.
  13. Kuhamo na srednjem ognju 1 uro, da se vsi okusi premešajo.
  14. Postrežemo toplo.
Oh the Goodies http://ohthegoodies.com/
Jota

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