Asturian bean stew:
Beans, chickpeas and lentils play a key role in the Spanish kitchen and if you’ve tried any of the marvellous dishes they make with them you’ll know why.
Of all the bean stews the Fabada Asturiana is perhaps the king. Made with special Asturian ‘fabes’, delicious white butter beans and flavoured with spicy sausages, blood sausage bacon and ham – my mouth’s watering as I write!
If you’re holidaying in northern Spain with Casas Cantabricas you can get fabes or habas in many supermarkets or small local shops, if you’re in western Asturias try to get your hands on some of the prized beans from Ballota. Otherwise large butter beans will give quite a similar result.
- 1/2 kilo dried white beans
- 1/4 kilo panceta (slab bacon)
- 2 chorizos
- 1 morcilla del año (smoked black pudding)
- 1 hambone or knuckle
- 1 onion
- 1 whole head of garlic
- 1 small hot red pepper
- 1 bayleaf
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 dessertspoon paprika
Soak the beans overnight in cold water in the fridge. The next day put the beans in fresh water in a very large pan with the bay leaf, the whole head of garlic, the hot red pepper, chorizos, panceta, morcilla and ham bone. Bring to the boil, cover pan and simmer slowly for about two hours, skimming if necessary. When everything is fully cooked remove the head of garlic, the bay leaf and the onion. Taste for salt. In a small frying pan heat the oil and fry the garlic and paprika until the garlic begins to sizzle. Add this to the beans and stir. It’s best to let the fabada sit for a while and even better the next day. To serve, reheat and transfer to a large casserole dish, arranging the meats, cut up, on the top.