Made internationally infamous by Hannibal Lecter’s odd choice of diet in Silence of the Lambs, the Fabada bean casserole is the signature dish of Asturias and is enjoyed throughout all of Spain and further afield. It’s a rich hearty meal that is great for replenishing energy stocks after rigorous activities. Ramon Huerta Nicholson introduces us to this classic dish and tells us what it takes to make the perfect Fabada. Thanks to Casa Chema in La Arquera, Oviedo for their help. This restaurant won the Best Fabada in the World, prize in 2011.
The Fabada Recipe
Prep time: 15 min, plus overnight soaking
Cook time: 3 hrs
- 1 kg faba dried fava beans, (large white Asturian beans; or substitute other large white beans), soaked overnight in water
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch strands saffron
- 1 tbsp hot smoked pimenton, (Spanish smoked paprika)
- 1 head garlic, cut in half across the bulb
- 1 smoked Asturian ham hock
- 450 g slab bacon
- 450 g Spanish chorizo
- 450 g Asturian smoked morcilla, (black pudding)
- 1 onion, halved
- Drain the pre-soaked beans. Put them in a large pot, add water to cover by 5cm, and bring to the boil.
- Skim off any foam, lower the heat to a simmer, and add the olive oil, saffron, pimentón, garlic, ham hock, and bacon. Simmer for 1 hour, adding more water as necessary to keep the beans covered.
- Add the chorizo, morcilla, and onion and simmer for another 2 hours, or until the beans are very soft; add water as necessary to keep the beans and meats covered.
- Remove from the heat, remove the meats, and let cool slightly. Remove the meat from the ham hock and shred it into bite-sized pieces. Cut the bacon into 2.5cm chunks and cut the sausages into thick slices.
- Discard the garlic and onion, ladle the beans into bowls, and nestle the various meats amongst the beans.
- Accompany with an Asturian cider or dry white wine.
Here’s the video link: http://vimeo.com/35194979
Video courtesy of Where is Asturias.com