Beef Dishes

Fabada Asturiana- Spanish White Bean Stew

Hello everyone! I haven’t posted any recipes or the past 6 weeks because I have been very busy attending a 4-week intensive course in Spanish cuisine at the Madrid Cordon Bleu School. Every day we had a 3-hour demonstration class followed by a 3-hour practical class. It was quite tiring: here is a picture of me on the first day of class when I was rested and ‘raring to go.’ Four weeks later, I didn’t feel quite so rested!

that’s me on the right

After doing this course, I am definitely not an expert in Spanish cuisine, but I can say that the Spanish do use a lot of olive oil and smoked paprika (pimenton) in their cooking. They also use a lot of cured meats such as chorizo and Iberian ham.

One traditional dish from the Asturias region of northwest Spain is called Fabada Asturiana. This stew uses fabes (white beans) combined with smoked pork sausages from Asturias (chorizo asturiana), and blood sausages from the region (morcilla asturiana). The addition of the pancetta gives this dish a hearty smoked flavor- perfect especially for the cooler weather. (While I was in Madrid, the temperature reached an average of 90 F every day, however I still liked eating this dish)!

The fabes are large white kidney beans from Asturias that are creamy and tender- however you could also use cannellini or Great Northern beans as a substitute. I had never tried morcilla or blood sausages before but these had a light texture that I really liked. These sausages need to be added at the very end of the cooking, otherwise they tend to break up and ‘disappear’ in the stew. If you don’t have access to the morcilla, you could substitute another type of sausage of your choice.

And don’t worry about soaking the white beans overnight and cooking them for two hours ahead of time! I used the quick-soak method, where you bring the beans briefly to a boil and let soak for only 1-hour- this will save you a lot of time!

Blood sausage from Asturias (morcilla asturiana), Smoked sauage from Asturias (chorizo asturiana) and pancetta

So, if you want to experience a taste of Spain (without having to travel to the country) try making this smoky bean stew, Fabada Asturiana!

Fabada Asturiana (Spanish White Bean Stew)
Serves 6
A smoky Spanish stew from the region of Asturianas
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb dried white beans (fabes, cannellini or Great Northern beans)
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. ½ lb pancetta or speck bacon, cut into ½ inch strips
  5. 2 'chorizos asturianas' (or other Spanish chorizo)
  6. 2 ‘morcillas asturianas’ (blood sausages)
  7. 12 cups water (or enough water to cover the beans and other ingredients)
  8. 3-4 threads of saffron
  9. Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Rinse the dried beans. Fill a large saucepan or Dutch oven with water and bring to a boil; add the beans and boil for one minute. Remove from heat and cover the pan with a lid- let the beans soak for one hour. Strain the beans and set aside. In a large pot or Dutch oven, ‘sweat’ the onions and garlic in a little olive oil until they are translucent. Cut the pancetta into thin strips and the chorizos into ¼ inch slices and add to the pot and cook for about one minute. Add the soaked beans to the pan and enough water to cover the ingredients; add a few threads of saffron and salt to taste. Cook for at least 1 hour on a medium-low heat until all flavors have infused together.
  2. While the ingredients are cooking, cut the morcilla (blood) sausages into thin slices and bake in a pre-heated oven at 320 F (160 C) for 10 minutes. Add them to the stew during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking. Serve warm in individual bowls.
Notes
  1. You could substitute the morcilla blood sausage with any other sausage of your choice. Also, if you do not have access to 'chorizo asturiana', you could substitute a general Spanish chorizo for this.
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8 Comments

  • Reply
    John/Kitchen Riffs
    August 3, 2017 at 1:36 am

    Glad you’re having a good (albeit tiring) time. And thanks for this dish! I’ve been wondering what you’ve been cooking. This is a good one! 🙂
    John/Kitchen Riffs recently posted…The Eclipse CocktailMy Profile

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    August 10, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    I am familiar with blood sausage from Germany but after living in the US for many decades I lost the taste for it. However, your stew looks delicious and I will bookmark it for later .

  • Reply
    Agness of Run Agness Run
    August 15, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    Yum! Such an awesome stew recipe! What’s your favorite Spanish dish?

  • Reply
    Lynn @ Oh-So Yummy
    August 17, 2017 at 7:12 am

    I bought both of those sausage from a Spanish shop in PB for a paella recipe! Everything was delicious! I like how this one incorporates beans too! I still have some saffron left but I think it is past the ‘date’… would it still work in the recipe?
    Lynn @ Oh-So Yummy recently posted…Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina – San Diego, CAMy Profile

    • Reply
      Fran
      August 17, 2017 at 7:36 am

      Lynn, I’m so happy to hear that there is a Spanish shop in the San Diego area! I’ll be arriving there in several months so I’ll now know where to go. I would think that the saffron is still OK to use- it’s not a milk or meat product. If it still looks and tastes alright, it’s probably still good to go (but, of course, it’s ultimately up to you to judge).
      Fran recently posted…Fabada Asturiana- Spanish White Bean StewMy Profile

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