The Slavic flavours of this sauerkraut and bean stew from Trieste reflects its location and history, between that of Italy and Croatia. Feel free to add bits of smoked or cured meat or poultry, or omit them altogether for a non – traditional vegetarian dish.

  Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  Difficulty: moderate
  Serves: 4


  • 400 g sauerkraut

  • 700 g canned borlotti beans, drained

  • 3 potatoes

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 200g cured meat such as smoked turkey bacon, diced (or omit and replace with a stock cube of choice)

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 1 bay leaf

  • olive oil

  • water

  • salt

  • caraway seeds

  • pepper


Warm the beans in the olive oil with the garlic, potatoes and cured meat, if using. Cook together, lightly sautéeing for a few minutes, then add enough water to cover.

Simmer for about 30 minutes.

Separately, heat the sauerkraut with a pinch of caraway seeds and the bay leaf, cover with water and let it evaporate.

Toast the flour in the oil in a pan until lightly browned, then add the sauerkraut and mix well slowly.

Puree half of the beans and potatoes, then mix everything together, including the sauerkraut, in a saucepan and simmer for 30 minutes. The jota must be thick – leave it to rest for a few minutes before serving.

Season to taste.