Monday, November 15, 2010

Fabada Asturiana • White Bean Stew

Oh darn! Was this supposed to be Meatless Monday? ;)

This is a very hearty stew that originated in Asturias, Spain. The word Fabada comes from Fabes a type of white runner bean cultivated in the autonomous community of Asturias. They are also known as 'Judiones'. My first father-in-law was a Spaniard and he made this delicious stew, unfortunately, I never watched him make it and never wrote down the recipe, but I know what's it' supposed to taste like. I searched the internet and found a recipe in Spanish. I'm going to follow it to the best of my ability.

1 lb fava beans (I'm using great northern beans, didn't find fava)
2 smoked ham hocks
2 Spanish chorizo2
2 Morcilla sausage (I can't find this and I don't eat it anyway so I substituted with 3 slices of bacon)
2 small onions or 1 large one
4-6 cloves garlic
1 tsp paprika 
salt to taste at the end

Soak your beans overnight. The next morning pour your beans along with the water it sat in into a large pot, you will have to add more water to cover the beans to double the height.... does that make sense? (If your beans come to 1/3 the height of the pot, then add water to 2/3 the height of the pot). Okay turn the heat on high and start to boil the beans with a drizzle of olive oil. Soon foam will form at the top of the water, skim that out. Add all the ingredients to the pot, lower the heat to a low boil and cover for about 2-3 hours until the beans are tender. Check periodically to make sure the water level is sufficient. You can let it reduce at the end. Before serving remove the large pieces of onion, garlic and bacon. Cut your sausage into slices (remove any artificial casing). Pick out the ham from the ham hocks if you so desire. Grab your spoon a slice of crusty bread! (For a thicker stew, remove some beans and mash them, return to pot).

Note for those of us watching our fat intake: Refrigerate your finished
stew overnight and skim the fat off the top before reheating.


  1. So much for meatless Monday:)
    The finished fabada looks wonderful and I bet it was delicious! One of the last times that I made it though, it came out so greasy, that I refrigerated it until the next day, skimmed the fat off, and it was great. I think I'll do it that way from now on. Everyone is always trying to eat with less fat anyway!

  2. I only had a little bowl to taste it yesterday. I refrigerated it to do the same thing (skim off the fat). I should add that part to the post. I'll be back with Meatless Monday next week.

  3. Good authentic recipe, I prepare it the same except instead of parsley I use a couple bay leaves, and the paprika you should use it "Pimenton de la Vera" (have you checked Costco for it yet?) yup yup good recipe :) (don't worry I don't put Morcilla in mine either, not because I can't find it but because my grandmother/ Tata and my mom don't like it/ refuse to it)

  4. Hi Ivonne-
    Just to let ya know Fava beans are green. Fabada is actually made with "alubias blancas" a.k.a. in Cuba "frijoles blancos". Since all "alubias" (frijoles) are native to the Americas and not Europe (Spain in this case). I think Fabada Asturiana was actually Cuban born and taken to Asturias Spain where it has become their claim to fame. Cubans cook it the same way but without the morcilla & paprika

  5. Yes, I stand corrected. The word Fabada comes from Fabes a type of white runner bean cultivated in the autonomous community of Asturias. They are also known as 'Judiones'. I translated incorrectly... didn't do enough esearch. Thank you for pointing it out to me, and I'll correct it on the post. :)

  6. Anonymous,
    In some Cuban circles the "Potaje de Judias blancas" is often confused for Fabada, like Fabada is similar but drops the calabaza, bell pepper, & chunks of fresh meat and replaces it with morcilla, usually everything is boiled, the beans used are similar to the judias blancas but the bean actually used over there is a local variety called "Garrafon"

    A lot of Cubans have Spaniard parentage, I don't consider Fabada a "cuban" thing, it's uniquely Asturian

    I don't put Morcilla in mine because I cant but honestly Fabada without Morcilla just isn't Fabada...

    btw here's my recipe for "Potaje de Frijoles Blancos" :)

  7. This brings back childhood memories... I miss my mami...

  8. Anonymous, I'm sorry, didn't mean to make you sad... you can always continue the tradition in your own home.