Bean Soup á la Jókai Révkomárom Style – (Jókai bableves révkomáromi módra)

Bean Soup á la Jókai Révkomárom Style - (Jókai bableves révkomáromi módra)
Ingredients serves 6:
10 1/2 oz/30 dkg dried pinto beans, 1 smallish raw smoked ham hock (18-25 oz/50-70 dkg), 2-3 carrots, 1-2 parsley root, bit of knob celery, 1 large onion (or 1 tablespoon onion cream), 1/2 teaspoon hot Red Gold or “Strong Steven” hot cherry pepper paste, 1-2 sprigs celery leaves, 10 1/2 oz/30 dkg pepperoni type sausage (may be smoked), 2 tablespoon all purpose flour, 4 cloves garlic, 1/2 tablespoon quality paprika, sour cream
Little Pinched Dumplings:
1 egg, 3 1/2-4 1/4 oz/10-12 dkg allpurpose
flour, pinch of salt

Sort through the beans, wash them and soak overnight in cold water. Soak the ham hocks separately in cold water also to remove some of the salt. Next day, drain and rinse both. Place the ham hock in a narrow pot or kettle and pour about 2 quarts/liters water over it. It is best if
it just covers the meat – this is why you need a pot with a narrow opening so you don’t cook the ham hock in more water than is necessary. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and cook the meat, covered, until half done, about 1 1/2 hours. Add the ham hock to the beans along with the vegetables, which have been cut into rounds or thick slices. The onion may be added either minced (in which case we can use onion cream instead) or merely cut in half (in which case remove it when the cooking is done). Flavor with the hot paprika cream and celery leaves, cover, and let it cook. While the ingredients are getting soft, take the skin off the sausage, slice it into rounds and brown in a skillet. Remove with a slotted spatula. Use the remaining fat (should be about 3-4 tablespoon, if less, add lard or oil) to make a roux, that is, add flour and stirring under medium heat until light brown, make a light roux. Remove from the heat and add the paprika, crushed garlic or garlic cream, blend and let cool. Make the little pinched dumplings by mixing the egg, flour and pinch of salt and knead into a hard dough. Pinch off small pieces, about the size of a pea. Once the beans and ham hock are cooked, remove the latter from its liquid. Add a bit of water to the roux and stir it smooth. Pour into the soup and stirring a few times allow it to boil a few minutes. Add the pinched dough. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. When ready to serve, bone and dice the ham hock and along with the sliced sausage and either put them into the soup, or directly into soup bowls
and ladle the hot soup over them. Drizzle the sour cream on top, or serve it separately as a topping.

Smart Notes

Mór Jókai was born in 1825 in Northern Komárom (Révkomárom) so the most authentic recipe for this
[very popular] unusual bean soup may be regarded as the one cooked the way the soup is prepared around this region. Quite possibly the author would not even recognize the soup named after him today, and as proof, the following is a quotation from Balázs Draveczky:
„…his common favorite was smoked pigs’ feet cooked in beans.” It reached Jókai’s table as a simple thick bean soup. There were neither vegetables nor sausage in it, nor pieces of ham hock, or pinched dumplings. These were all subsequent improvements to enhance flavor, the result of various chefs’ culinary bravado, and it continues to be cooked the same way to this day. It is flavored and garnished with sour cream and/or droplets of fat seasoned with paprika. Today, there are as many variations as cookbooks and restaurants. The great storyteller would hardly recognize what he referred to so poetically as „Greek reader in gold or angelic
boots.” Because as he said, the beans required for the dish must be as large as the rosary beads of Greek priests, the color of the smoked pig’s feet
gold, and its shape that of the foot-covering of angels…”

Preparation time: 2 hours 30 minutes + soaking the beans and ham hocks
Calories per serving: 748
Skill: Easy to prepare