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Fabada -- Asturian Ham and Beans

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  • 1/2 kg Fabes (dried white beans)
  • 400 g Morcilla
  • 400 g Chorizo, smoked
  • 400 g Cured pork hand (shoulder) or ham
  • 100 g Streaky salt pork
  • 1/2 ts Saffron
  • 1 Bay leaf


These are recipes from "Cooking in Spain" by Janet Mendel. I was told in the English Bookstore that this book was a big seller to English speaking visitors to Spain. I bought 5 of them myself.
"This is Spain's most famous bean dish, wonderfully flavoured, robust food from the northern regions. The fabes are big, fat white beans which cook up soft without disintegrating. Where unavailable, substitute the bigger dried lima beans or butter beans, or any large white bean. The morcilla and chorizo should be, if possible, from Asturias, where they are oak-smoked. Lacon is cured pork hand. If not available, use ham. Salt beef, salt-cured pig trotters and hard longaniza sausage are also used.
The day before; put the beans to soak in plenty of water. Put the lacon or ham to soak overnight in hot water. blanch the salt pork in boiling water for five minutes.
The following day: wash the sausages to eliminate excess smokiness. Drain the beans and put in an earthenware cassarole or large cooking pot and add water to a depth of two fingers. On a hot fire, bring to the boil and skim off the froth. Toast the saffron in a frying pan, crush it in a mortar and dissolve in a little water and add to the beans. Add the lacon, ham and salt pork to the cassarole, pushing them to the bottom of the beans. Cover and cook five minutes and skim again. Now add teh chorizo and morcilla, boil five minutes and skim. Add bay leaf, cover and cook very slowly, two or three hours. Add cold water occasionally just to keep teh beans barely covered so they don't dry out and split. Do not stire, but shake teh casserole from time to time. When beans are quite tender, let them sit for 20 minutes to blend and mellow the flavours. If too much liquid remains, puree some of the cooked beans in the blender and add them to the casserole to thicken the sauce. Serves 4"
Note: I always bring beans to a boil, drain the water and cover with fresh water in a bean recipe. Posted to EAT-L Digest 09 Mar 97 by Jean Jones <bruja@DPLUS.NET> on Mar 10, 1997