One of the most popular and robust dishes in Asturian gastronomy is fabada which is a sort of peasant bean stew flavoured with chunks of pork…and other pig parts. In every market in Asturias you’ll see special packs of ingredients for this wholesome filling dish that is something of a body warmer in the cooler winter months, especially in mountainous areas where the air can definitely be on the ‘fresh’ side.
In some restaurants in Asturias it can be served as a starter at lunchtimes, but non-Asturian diners would really have to be ravenous to see off this filling stew before being able to tackle a main course as well.
It’s not a particularly difficult recipe to recreate for anyone wanting to remind their taste-buds of the flavours of Asturias’ favourite dish and this particular version for two people comes from the market in Oviedo.
Important Note: Although the recipe calls for the morcilla, chorizo, lacón and tocino to be cut into chunks, these ingredients should be whole when placed in with the beans during cooking and only removed and chopped just before the stew is ready to be served.
Ingredients for Fabada Asturiana
- 250g of dried haricot beans
- 1 chorizo, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 morcilla (Spanish black pudding), cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 2 chunks of lacón (shoulder of lamb) in 2 inch square pieces
- 2 chunks of tocino (fat from the pig’s flank) also in 2inch pieces
- Salt to taste
Preparation for Fabada Asturiana
- Put the beans in a bowl, cover with cold water and allow to stand overnight.
- Also soak the lacón and tocino in lukewarm water overnight.
- Next day put the beans, chorizo, lacón, tocino, morcilla, salt and saffron into a large, heavy based saucepan, just cover with water and bring to the boil.
- Skim off any froth, turn the heat to low and leave to simmer for 3 hours adding more water if the stew is in danger of drying.
Serve with crusty bread and ideally a bottle of Asturian Cangas de Narced wine if you can get hold of one. Sometimes the beans are served separately from the meat so that diners can choose only the ingredients they like.
Buzz Trips Tip: If you can’t get hold of tocino try adding belly of pork instead. In fact you can experiment with all types of sausages for some interesting flavours.