IOTA recipe for SBS ITALIAN (a thick soup from Trieste)

Those who read Italian can tap into the link below for SBS Italian. The link also allows anyone who would like to listen to me discussing the recipe briefly with the SBS Presenter Massimigliano/Max Gugole). This is also spoken in Italian.

Recipe and podcast SBS Italian:

https://rb.gy/50uxy

The following is a rough translation of what is on the SBS Italian website and what Max and I discussed.

Jota /Iota is a very ancient preparation much appreciated in Trieste (Friuli-Venezia Giulia), a territory with a complex history, it was first part of of the Austrian Empire and later of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

When you look at a map of Italy and find Trieste, you see that the location of this city is close to Slovenia, Croatia and further north is Austria and the cuisine of Trieste has been influenced by these countries.

This thick soup is made with borlotti beans, “capuzi garbi” (the local name for sauerkraut), potatoes and smoked pork. For the latter component, sausages or a piece of cooked ham can be used. For meat on the bone, you can use ribs, a hock or ham on the bone.

It is a typical winter dish, rustic and full-bodied, which is eaten as a stand alone dish.

Jota is typical and is eaten not only in Trieste but throughout Friuli.

Like all ancient recipes, every family has its own recipe and there are many variations. Some put barley, polenta or a soffritto of a little oil sautéed with a little flour to make it thicker. Many also add a teaspoon of German cumin seeds (caraway seeds in English) and not to be confused with what we call cumin.

Experiment with this recipe. Feel free to add more meat or more beans or more sauerkraut, depending on your taste! And with a few more potatoes, the soup will be even thicker.

Ingredients (6 people)

400g sauerkraut, drained
400g of dried borlotti beans
400g of potatoes
4 – 6 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic
Smoked pork: 2-3 sausages or a whole piece of cooked ham (about 400g), or a hock (about 1k) or ribs, or bone-in ham
extra virgin olive oil or lardpepper and salt to taste2 tablespoons flour (optional)

The night before, put the well-covered beans in a bowl to soak in cold water.

The next day, cook the beans in a saucepan with 2 bay leaves over low heat for about 40 – 50 minutes. Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces, add them to the broth with the beans and continue cooking for 20 – 30 minutes until everything is cooked.

Place half the potatoes and beans in a bowl with the broth, reducing everything to a puree/ mash. Then add the rest of the whole beans and pieces of potatoes.

In another pot, brown the crushed garlic cloves in a little oil or lard. When they are golden, add the sauerkraut and cover them with water. If you want you can add some bay leaves and/or caraway seeds.

Add the hock and/or smoked meat on the bone, and when it is almost fully cooked, add the whole sausages and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Remove the sausages and meat from the pot and slice everything, removing the bones.

Combine the vegetable broth with the beans and potatoes with the sauerkraut, the sliced ​​smoked meat and its broth.Season with salt and pepper to taste.

OPTIONAL: In a small separate pan put two tablespoons of oil or lard, adding a little flour. Stir to avoid lumps. Once the flour has been toasted, add this sautéed mixture to the rest of the soup, mixing carefully.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

This soup should be quite thick. Add more broth or water if it is too thick.

It is even better if prepared a day in advance.

The beans and potatoes can be cooked days beforehand and kept in the fridge.

 To cook a Jota with less fat you can cook the broth with the smoked meat in the water and the bay leaves. When the meat and the broth are cooked, if you have used meat on the bones, remove the bones and when the broth is cold remove the fat.

Sauerkraut can be bought either in jars or glass jars in delicatessen shops and supermarkets.

Smoked meat is part of German, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Slovenian and Croatian gastronomy.

Pork hocks, ribs and cooked ham are readily available and can be found in supermarkets. Sausages can be bought in produce markets, some continental delicatessens and butchers or food specialty shops. In some supermarkets you can find commercial sausages: Polish sausage, Kramsky, Cabonossi and Kabana. I keep away from those wrapped in plastic.

Commercial cooked bacon if cured and smoked properly is cooked first and then smoked, but unfortunately, some manufacturers inject the meat with liquid smoke. (Use a reputable brand).

 N.B. There are smoked products that are made with free-range pork and smallgoods/charcuterie manufacturers that use no artificial additives or preservatives.

There are other recipes for making Iota on my blog. For the SBS recipe I thought that I would simplify the recipe and write it  more in keeping with the many variations of how to cook Iota in Trieste, so I suggested using two saucepans, one to cook the beans and potatoes and in the other the sauerkraut and pork.

Other recipes on All Things Sicilian and More blog:

Pork Hock, Polish Wedding Sausage, Borlotti and Sauerkraut =IOTA (a lean version)

IOTA (Recipe, a very thick soup from Trieste) Post 1

IOTA FROM TRIESTE, Italy, made with smoked pork, sauerkraut, borlotti beans 

 

 

Pork Hock, Polish Wedding Sausage, Borlotti and Sauerkraut =IOTA (a lean version)

IMG_8435

Iota (also Jota) is always a delight to eat and to talk about with friends, many of them surprised to discover that it is a regional and traditional Italian  dish from Trieste, a town in the region of Fruili Venezia Giulia and north of Venice.

The fat content in Iota can be high, but there are ways to make Iota less fatty.

Borlotti beans, soaked overnight and then cooked.

IMG_8386

Pork Hock, placed in cold water and simmered until soft and used to make broth. Add potatoes about 30 minutes before the end of cooking.  Remove the lean meat and use this for  when you assemble the ingredients together. Skim the fat off the pork hock broth.

IMG_8387

Use the broth to cook the sauerkraut . When the sauerkraut is cooked, add half the borlotti beans and potatoes.  Use a potato masher to mash the contents.

IMG_8390

Assemble the Iota  by combining all of the different components.

Add the whole beans and the rest of the potatoes (cubed) with the mashed  ingredients. Add the pork hock meat and the Wedding Sausage (I prefer to use this type of sausage  because it is lean meat).

IMG_8398 (1)

And there you have it – a lean Iota.

IMG_8400

There are other posts for making Iota and these include quantities of ingredients:

IOTA (Recipe, a very thick soup from Trieste) Post 1

IOTA FROM TRIESTE, Italy, made with smoked pork, sauerkraut, borlotti beans – Post 2

IOTA FROM TRIESTE, Italy, made with smoked pork, sauerkraut, borlotti beans – Post 2

It is winter in Melbourne and time to cook Iota again.

Smoked pork, sauerkraut, borlotti beans? Italian you say?

IMG_1573

Yes, and it demonstrates just how regional Italian cuisine can be.

Iota is an extremely hearty soup from Trieste, the city where I grew up as a child until I came to Australia.

Details and recipe for Iota (A Very Thick Soup From Trieste)

See also Gulasch (Goulash As Made in Trieste)

For a complete meal, end the one course Iota dish with a salad or two.

Popular in Trieste:

Matovilc, see: Salad Green: Matovilc, Also Called Lamb’s Lettuce and Mâche

or Radicchio Triestino,  a small-soft-leaf radicchio.


My father grew Radicchio Triestino in his Adelaide garden but I have never seen it for sale in Australia.

These are some of the salad vegetables I am able to purchase at the Queen Victoria Market. Notice the pale coloured beetroot (I also cook the leaves like spinach). The beetroot I ate in Trieste was always pale in colour.

Next to the red radicchio is the head of speckled, pale radicchio (radicchio biondo= blonde/blond).

Fennel and the baby cabbage are also suitable salad vegetables, as is rocket – rucola in Triestine.

IMG_1585:

 

IOTA (Recipe, a very thick soup from Trieste) Post 1

Iota 1@300

Time to write about Trieste again. Now and again I feel nostalgic for this city where I spent my childhood before coming to Australia.

Today is my son’s birthday and lately he has been cooking iota (he does not live in Melbourne), but he tells me that it is not as good as mine.

Iota is a very old traditional dish from Trieste. It is very strongly flavoured, thick soup and the main ingredients are borlotti beans, sauerkraut and smoked meats. It is not a light dish by any means, but very simple to make and most suited to cold weather. It is usually made at least 1 day before you plan to eat it – the flavours mature and improve with age.

statua-di-james-joyce_1049451-300x199

This is not a dish that many would associate with Italy but if you look at the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia it is easier to understand why this recipe is very characteristic of the area around Trieste.

I was last in Trieste in December 2007 and visited an osteria in the old part of Trieste (la citta` vecchia – the port / waterfront, see photo) to specifically eat cucina triestina. When I told the signora that I was reliving the food of my childhood she could not do enough for me – I had iota, sepe in umido (braised cuttle fish) matavilz (lamb’s lettuce salad) and strucolo de pomi( apple strudel). White wine of course (characteristic of the area) and we finished off the meal with a good grappa. Nothing like Sicilian food, but enjoyable for different reasons – nostalgia has a lot to do with it.

photo

I have seen iota written by a variety of spellings: iotta, jota, yota are all pronounced the same way. Some also refer to it as fasoi (beans) and capuzi garbi (sauerkraut).

In some nearby places close to Trieste turnips are sometimes used instead of saurkraut.

There are variations in the making of iota: some add smoked sausages (as I always do) some parsley, and some a little barley – the texture of barley is good.

I always buy my sausages from a Polish or German butcher. When I lived in Adelaide I used to go to the Polish stall at The Adelaide Market and now, at the Polish stall in the Queen Victoria Market. I also buy good quality saurkraut there.

Most Triestini add flour to thicken this one course meal, but I generally do not do this.

trieste

INGREDIENTS

borlotti beans, 250g soaked overnight
potatoes, 250g, peeled and cubed
sauerkraut, 250g
olive oil, ½ cup
bay leaves,3
ham hock or smoked ribs, shanks, 300-400g
pork, smoked sausages made from coarsely ground meat
garlic, 2 chopped
pepper and salt to taste
plain flour, 2 tablespoons

PROCESSES

Place beans, salt pork, potatoes and bay leaves in large pot of cold water. Cover ingredients fully.
Simmer slowly (about 1 ½ hours). Add sausages about half way through the cooking.
Remove about half of the beans and potatoes and mash them. Add salt and pepper to taste and return them to the pan.

Add the saurkraut and cook for about 30 minutes longer (some Triestini cook them separately, but I see no point in doing this).

To thicken the soup, add the flour and garlic to the hot olive oil – use a separate small pan, stir vigorously and try not to have lumps. This is like making a French roux but using oil instead of butter. Some of the older Triestini use lard.

Happy birthday……. and I am sorry that I am not there to cook it for you.

MA2SBAE8REVW
%d bloggers like this: