Fabada (Spanish Pork & Bean Stew)


If it’s miserable outside, which it was when I cooked this, then close all the doors and windows and let the amazing aromas make their way through the house with this fantastic Spanish bean stew. Served simply with bread, this celebration of pork (there are four kinds ladies and gentlemen) and beans is sure to not only warm you up, but fill you up to the brim too.


400g dried white haricot or great northern beans (soaked overnight in cold water)
600g smoked ham hock
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
150g streaky bacon (chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
pinch saffron threads
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon paprika (smoked)
200g black pudding (or Morcilla if you want to be super authentic) (chopped)
200g chorizo sausage (chopped)

Cover the ham hock with 2 litres boiling water and add the bay leaves then simmer gently for 1 hour, until the meat begins to fall off the bone. Take out of the water and retain about 1.5 litres of the cooking liquid. When the ham is cool enough, remove and discard the fat and bone, chop the meat into small chunks and set aside.
In a large deep pan, heat the oil over a medium heat and fry the bacon, onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until golden. Add the beans, ham, saffron, paprika, salt & pepper and stir for about a minute. Add 1 litre of the reserved cooking liquid and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook partially covered for about 50 minutes-1 hour hour stirring ocassionally (very carefully) until the beans are soft but not mushy. If the liquid reduces too much add a ladleful of stock at a time till you reach the desired consistency. It should be a soup like sauce – not too thick.
In a seperate frying pan, heat till hot then add the chorizo and black pudding and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden and a little crispy on the outside. With a slotted spoon remove the sausage, leaving any excess fat, to the sauce and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Hot with some bread. Alternatively hot or at room temperature as part of a tapas meal. Freezes very well too. If you’re going to freeze it. Add a little more of the retained ham hock cooking liquid at the end.

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