ingredients
  • pancetta 1/2 pound meaty
  • Spanish chorizo 1/2 pound dry
  • ham hock 1 meaty (about 1 pound)
  • Chicken stock * 2 quarts plus 2 cups or low-sodium broth
  • Asturian fabes beans 1 pound dried, soaked in water overnight and drained (or use two cans cannellini or butter beans instead)
  • Onion 1 small halved
  • Cloves 8 garlic
  • sprigs 2 parsley
  • Bay leaf 1 wrapped in cheesecloth and tied
  • Large pinch of saffron, finely ground in a mortar
  • Boiling water 1/4 cup
  • Tomato 1 medium , halved crosswise
  • Extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons
  • Onion 1 medium , finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • pimentón de la Vera 1 1/2 teaspoons (smoked Spanish paprika)
  • blood sausage 1/2 pound

This Spanish bean, chorizo and blood sausage stew is a rich and hearty favorite in Asturia, Spain. It’s traditionally made with fabes, which are creamy white beans, but you can substitute them with butter beans or cannellini beans if you find them hard to get.

This is a substantial stew on its own, but you can also serve it with vegetables on the side, or with some crusty bread for mopping up the juices.

Instructions:

Fill a large pot halfway with water; bring to a boil over high heat.

Add the pancetta, chorizo and ham hock; simmer over moderate heat for 5 minutes.

Drain the meat and return to the pot.

Add the stock, beans (if using cooked, canned butter beans or cannellini beans, do not add until the end) and bouquet garni and bring to a boil over high heat; skim off any foam.

Cover partially and simmer over low heat until the beans are just tender, about 1 hour. (If using canned beans, do not add until 5 minutes before the end of cooking. Simmer the stock and bouquet garni for 15-20 minutes instead.)

Meanwhile, in a small heatproof bowl, mix the saffron with the boiling water until dissolved. Grate the tomato halves on the large holes of a box grater set in a bowl until only the skins remain; discard the skins.

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil until hot.

Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.

Add the pimentón (paprika) and cook, stirring, until the onion is coated, about 1 minute. Add the grated tomato and simmer until reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir the onion mixture into the pot along with the brewed saffron and the blood sausage.

Simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. Add any canned beans five minutes before the end of this time so that they can heat through.

Transfer the meats to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into bite-size pieces. Discard the ham bone and bouquet garni. Return the meats to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the fabada to bowls and serve.

Notes:

The fabada can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, so is ideal for making ahead. Reheat it gently before serving.

*If you can’t get ham hock on the bone, most supermarkets sell shredded ham hock in the deli aisles, which makes a good substitute.

*If you want to buy fabes beans in the UK, you will probably have to do it online as most supermarkets don’t stock them. You will find that 500g of fabes beans costs around £8, which is quite expensive – however, if you want to make an authentic fabada, these are what you need.

*You can buy ready-made bouquet garni sachets in the dried herb section of most supermarkets. Simply put the bag in the pot and discard when you’ve finished cooking.

*If you can’t find blood sausage, use uncooked black pudding instead.