This sauerkraut and bean stew would have to be one of my favourite Slovenian dishes. It’s hearty, humble, super easy to make, and budget-friendly.If you’re like me and always have sauerkraut and beans on hand, then you’ll be making this stew quite regularly.
My husband Michael and I were planning to move to Slovenia soon, and with all the craziness that is happening in the world, we’re putting those dreams on hold for now.
So instead of me enjoying this stew in my beloved hometown of Ljubljana, I have chosen to bring it to my household here in Tasmania, Australia, for now.
This dish is traditionally called Jota (pronounced YOH-tah) and comes from the Primorska region of Slovenia.
There are a few different ways that you can make this stew, and it’s typically made using some kind of meat. You’ll find one if not all of these – smoked ham, slab bacon, pork ribs, or sausages.
Since I’m not using any of these, I have chosen to use smoked paprika in their place to still get that smokey flavour coming through, without the animal cruelty.
This dish is freezer-friendly and will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
I have found that it tastes even better on the second or third day. The flavours infuse over time, and it gives you comfort food satisfaction.
If you live somewhere where you can get your hands on freshly pickled turnip at the markets, firstly, I’m super jealous, and secondly, you can use turnip in this recipe instead of the sauerkraut.
If you love sauerkraut as I do, but you haven’t tried a dish like this before, trust me, you’ll fall in love!
The balance of sweet, sour, and salt is perfectly balanced.
This is why it’s important to rinse your sauerkraut before putting it into the stew. This way, you can control how salty the soup is by adding salt to taste at the end.
Through my research, I found out that the reason you cook the potatoes separately to the rest of the stew first is that you want them to have that soft, almost pureed consistency and cooking them with the sauerkraut, you wouldn’t be able to achieve that as well. This is because the acidity in the sauerkraut stops the potatoes from becoming super soft. Who knew!
If you try this recipe, let me know! I would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. Want to go that extra mile? Tag us on Instagram or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest. Don’t want to make it now? Pin it for later!