A comforting stew is the perfect antidote to the winter cold. In the Asturias region of northern Spain, fabada is a beans-and-meat stew commonly eaten on the weekends—a hearty late lunch dish that will have you curling up for a nap afterwards.
The fabes beans, grown in Asturias, retain their shape even after hours of slow cooking. They’re amazingly creamy inside and capture the dish’s deep flavors: smoky meat and a hint of sweetness from the paprika.
Chef Jose Lariño serves this dish at El Pote, a Spanish restaurant in the Murray Hill neighborhood, an unofficial home for homesick Spanish expats and a mandatory stop for visiting Spaniards.
Don’t skip getting the morcilla, or blood sausage. It’s the secret ingredient. For Spanish provisions, Lariño recommends heading over to Despaña (in SoHo or Jackson Heights, or online).
Fabada (Asturian Bean Stew)
- 2 pounds dried Asturian fabes beans, soaked overnight in water
- 1 pound pancetta, finely diced
- 1 pound lacón (Spanish salted pork leg), diced
- 2 chorizo sausages, diced
- 2 links of morcilla (Spanish blood sausages), diced
- 8 ounces serrano ham, diced
- 6 ounces olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- A pinch of sweet paprika
- A pinch of hot paprika
In separate bowls, soak the beans and the lacón overnight in cold water.
Drain the beans and lacon, and place them in a pot. Add the ham and sausages, then add enough water to cover the ingredients, about 1 to 2 cups. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
In a separate pan, saute the onion in olive oil until starting to caramelize. Add the sweet and hot paprikas. Make sure the heat is low to prevent the paprikas from burning. Cook until onions are fully caramelized.
Add the onion-paprika mixture to the beans and meat. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour, occasionally adding water to ensure that the liquid covers the ingredients.
Serve with bread.
Recipe courtesy of Jose Larino, executive chef, El Pote, Manhattan