Fabada Asturiana Recipe

Fabada Asturiana is a hearty stew from the mountains of Asturias in northern Spain. Its main ingredients are white Asturian butter beans (fabes), spicy sausage (chorizo), black pudding (morcilla) and a chunk of salty pork belly. It’s a good idea to make this one day then heat it up the following day when all the delicious flavours have come out.

This is certainly a meal for the winter months to warm you up all day long. The last time we were in Asturias we stayed in Ribadesella on the coast and discovered an amazing local restaurant serving fabada as a starter followed by beef as the main course and rice pudding as the dessert. This was all washed down by a very nice bottle of red wine all for a very economical price. We returned several times!

Fabada Ingredients

Serves 6

  • 500g of butter beans (fabes)
  • 2 black puddings (morcillas)
  • 1 100g ham hock (punta de jamon)
  • 2 spicy sausages (chorizos)
  • 1/2 glass of oil
  • 1 Large Onion – peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic – peeled but whole
  • 1 Teaspoon of spicy paprika
  • Olive Oil
  • Saffron
  • Salt

NOTE: In Asturias they would normally add about 100g of lard, a bit of pig’s ear and a bit of pig’s tail for added flavour. I think you may have problems getting these so I suggest that you get about 200g of a cheap cut of pork perhaps skirting or something similar as an easy replacement.

Cooking Method

Soak the beans in cold water for 3 hours and then drain them.

Put them in a large pan, cover them with cold water and bring this to the boil. Once it is boiling drain the beans again.

Now put them in another pan full of cold water and put the pan on a medium to high heat. Add the onion, garlic, the oil and the cheap pork. Add the paprika and stir well then add the ham hock and the chorizo but leave the black puddings till later if they are soft ones as they may break up if you add them too early.

The water should be just covering the fabada. Once it is boiling reduce the heat, put a lid on the pan and cook slowly for 2 to 3 hours – this will depend on the beans. About a half hour before it is ready add the black puddings. At the last minute add a little saffron or yellow food colouring dissolved in some of the liquid from the fabada.

If you have been “lucky” enough to find pig’s ear and tail do not serve them.

Serve in a bowl with a chunk of crusy bread.

HINT: You may want to take out a few of the beans, puree them and add them back to the fabada to make the broth thicker.