This blog post is about a traditional spanish recipe: fabada.
Loving food the way I do, it is very difficult for me to make up my mind when people ask me which is my favorite dish. But this is one that is definitely always in my mind, in my top 10…or 5…or 3. It is that good!
This dish is very typical from Asturias, a region in the north of Spain and it is as tasty as it is simple to prepare. What is the secret to it? simply the quality of the ingredients.
If you live in London and you would like to give it a go (and you should!), I recommend you going to an spanish shop, such as Garcia’s in Ladbroke Grove to get the ingredients. If you try to make this with the chorizo and black pudding you can get from any supermarket you will have wasted your time I’m afraid…
As you can see in the photo below, you don’t need many ingredients to cook this.
Ingredients (serves 4):
– 500 gr of “fabes”, they are good quality beans, they melt in your mouth and the skin doesn’t come off, actually you won’t even feel the skin in good “fabes”. They are very meaty.
– one chorizo, one black pudding and a piece of cured pork. This is called “compango” and you should be able find these packages with the three elements in spanish shops.
– one onion (optional)
– I also added a spoonful of smoked paprika, “pimenton” in spanish, and a pinch of cayenne pepper (not in the photo)
There is only one thing that needs to be done in advance to prepare this dish, and that is to leave the beans to soak in water the night before. They need to be submerged in water for at least 12 hours, they will absorb a lot of the water and this will reduce a lot the cooking time.
So, after you have left the beans soaking during that time or longer if you want, you can then rinse them, remove the water and you only need a pot to put all the ingredients in and cook them together. If you have a pressure cooker that would be ideal, as these beans take a long time to cook, even with the previous soaking. I personally cannot live without my pressure cooker
Take the pressure cooker (or other pot) put the beans in, put the chorizo/black pudding/piece of pork and onion in, cover it with water and close the pot. I also added a spoonful of smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper to the water. As for the amount of water you need to add, I never measure water in milliliters for this, just fill it around 2 inches above the ingredients, as you can see in the next picture.
You don’t need to do anything else now, just wait until the beans are cooked.
It took me 20 minutes in the pressure cooker to cook this. As water doesn’t evaporate when cooking with a pressure cooker, after those 20 minutes I opened the cooker and cooked it a further 10 minutes, so the liquid reduced a bit and got a bit thicker.
If you are not using a pressure cooker then it will take you much longer, around an hour and a half over low-medium heat.
Once the beans are tender, take the meat out f the pot an cut a thick slice of both the chorizo and black pudding per plate and a piece of pork too. I personally don’t serve any of the onion, I use it just to add some extra flavor. Serve the beans in a soup plate and place the meat on top. Yummy!
Warning: this is the most filling dishes you can ever eat, be careful with how much you eat if it is the first time you try it, as it can be a bit too heavy too.