Early this year I mentioned that one of my resolutions for 2013 was to make some of the recipes that were more challenging for me. Well, within the Spanish culinary tradition we can find a few of those dishes, especially within the stews. Cocido madrileño, lebaniego or maragato, Callos, Ollas or fabadas are good examples.
In order to be true to that New Year’s resolution, I decided to make a real Fabada Asturiana (Asturian bean stew) a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately everything went well from start to end, so I can proudly say that I succeeded in my first attempt.
The verdict: The fabada is actually a very simple dish. The only really important thing is the quality of the ingredients, well, that and time.
Hope you like it as much as we do.
- 500 gr white, broad beans from La Granja, dried
- 2 Asturian chorizos *
- 2 Asturian blood sausages *
- 100 gr of lacon (pig’s shoulder ham) *
- 100 gr of streaky bacon *
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 or 2 bay leaves
- Salt to taste
* All these meats together are called Compango
Put the beans to soak in cold water the night before or at least 12 hours before cooking time.
Place at the bottom of a large pot, the meats (chorizo, sausage, lacon and bacon), cover with the beans and lay on top of that, the peeled onions, whole garlic cloves, parsley and bay leaves. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil.
When it starts to boil, degrease and remove impurities that rise to the surface as a foam. Then “scare” the beans (this means, add a bit of cold water to stop the boiling), lower the heat to a minimum and let simmer, with the pot partially covered.
During cooking, we’ll have to “scare them” again (about 2 more times). The beans should always be covered with the broth. To stir the stew, do a little shaking with the pot, avoiding the use of ladles to prevent the beans to break.
Halfway through cooking, add the saffron, a few strands will suffice and it is advisable to toast them a bit before throwing into the stew.
If after three hours the broth is still too clear, take out a few broad beans and crush them with a fork. Bring this mash to the stew again and turn up the heat for a few minutes until it thickens.
When the beans are ready, check the salt and correct if necessary. It is not advisable to add the salt before, because the meats are already salted.
Before serving let stand for a few minutes, take out onion, garlic (if you find it), bay leaves and parsley. Also, take out the meats and cut into pieces.
Oh, almost forgot! The next day the Fabada tastes even better…