Spanish Fabada (Fabada Asturiana)

Spanish Fabada (Fabada Asturiana)

Fabada is one of the 3 essential Spanish dishes alongside cocido and paella. This fabada preparation is a variation from the bible of Spanish cooking from Simone Ortega, "Recetas de Cocina". Find a link to buy the book through Amazon below in English or Spanish. Ingredients are key for this dish so make sure you have all of them, specially the pig's trotter and ear. You can get these from your local butcher. For the Spanish ingredients, in the US, you can visit the link below to La Española Meats, Inc.


1 lb of fabes Asturianas*
2 links morcilla Asturiana (blood sausage with onions)
1/4 lb piece of Serrano Ham (from the tip of the ham, usually discarded at the deli counter or sold separately)
2 links of chorizo de Bilbao
1/4 lb piece of pork belly
1/2 pig's ear
1/2 pig's trotter or tail
1 1/2 cup olive oil
1 large onion cut in 4
2 garlic cloves (whole and peeled)
1 pinch of Saffron strings
1 teaspoon of Pimentón (Sweet Smoked Paprika)
Salt to taste

*Fabes or Faba of Asturias are dried beans of the phaseolus vulgaris variety. Cream-colored, kidney shaped (long and flat) and larger than other varieties. They can but should not be substituted by Lima beans.


Please read the full directions carefully before you begin. This should be the norm for every recipe but specially on this one. Timing is tricky. It will take from 2 to 3 hours to cook and it is better to eat the next day. Soak the beans in cold water overnight, if possible changing the water 2 or 3 times. The next day discard the water and put the beans in a large pot. Cover with cold water. Add the onion, garlic, olive oil, pig's ear and trotter and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Set the timer for 2 hours. After 10 minutes add the Pimentón and stir. After another 15 minutes add the Serrano ham and pork belly. After another 10 minutes add the chorizo but reserve the morcilla (blood sausage). We will add this during the last 30 minutes of cooking --you need to try the beans once in a while to determine. There should be just enough water to cover all of the ingredients so add more if needed. At this point cover and let it cook for the remainder of the time. Depending on the beans you may need to cook for an additional hour or so to make sure the beans are soft but not mushy. At this point add the salt and the Saffron, previously well crushed in a grinder with some of the broth.

Do not serve the pig's foot or ear although some people might like this. If so, you can de-bone and cut in small pieces.
You can thicken the broth if needed by pureeing some of the beans and adding them back into the broth.