Asturian cuisine boasts an iconic dish called fabada, which is a thick and hearty white bean soup prepared with smoked pork knuckle (lacon) and sausages such as chorizo and morcilla. The dish is named after its primary ingredient, large white Asturian beans (fabes), which are about three times larger and more expensive than other legumes. The first recorded mention of fabada dates back to the 16th century when approximately 2.5 thousand hectares of land in Asturias were dedicated to growing white beans. The recipe for fabada was brought to the region by pilgrims who traveled on the path of St. James to Santiago de Compostela from the French Languedoc. Nowadays, there are around 30 different fabada recipes available.
- 750 grams Asturian white beans (fabes)
- 3 chorizo sausages
- 3 blood sausages (morcilla)
- strip of bacon
- 150-200 grams of smoked pork knuckle (lacon)
- 1 medium onion
- 1 garlic clove
- salt and saffron to taste
How to cook Asturian fabada stew
Step 1. To prepare Asturian fabada stew, the beans are typically soaked overnight and then drained of their old water. They are then covered with fresh cold water and brought to a boil over medium heat.
Step 2. The foam is removed, and sausages and meat are added to the pot. A medium onion and garlic clove are added whole so that they can be easily removed before serving. The fabada is simmered over low heat, ensuring that the liquid covers the ingredients. The dish should not be stirred to preserve the beans’ integrity.
Step 3. When the beans are half cooked, a small amount of cold water is added to stop the simmer, and the cooking continues over low heat. Finally, salt and saffron are added to taste, taking care not to overdo it with the salt since the sausages already provide a salty taste. Once the beans are soft, the dish is removed from the stove and allowed to brew for a short time.
Step 4. The meat and sausages are then removed from the pan and cut into small pieces before being served on a separate plate.