Make Ahead

Fabada (Asturian fava bean stew)

February  9, 2015
Author Notes

I once did the Camino de Santiago - the pilgrimage across the north of Spain ending in Santiago de Compostela. On the way, my friend from Oveido, a small city in Asturias made popular popular by Vicky Cristina Barcelona, took me in and shared with me some local specialties. We had cheese aged in caves in Asturias, sidra poured from above our heads and fabada - a fava bean stew that's hearty enough to revitalize any hungry pilgrim. Here is an adaptation of my friend's mom's recipe. Buen provecho! —Caitlin Raux Gunther

  • Serves 4-6
  • 1 pound dry fava beans
  • 1 pound pork shoulder
  • 1/4 pound pancetta or bacon
  • 2 pieces morcilla
  • 2 pieces chorizo
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Spanish onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 handful flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  • 1 piece lemon, for finishing (optional)
In This Recipe
  1. DO AHEAD: cover beans in water and soak overnight or until tender.
  2. Add olive oil and garlic to a cold, dutch oven. Turn heat to medium low. When garlic is translucent, add onion, stir occasionally.
  3. In a separate large pan over medium heat, add a glug of olive oil and brown bacon. Add to onion mixture with 1/2 of the drippings.
  4. Time to strain the beans and toss them in with the rest of your pork products. Cover all ingredients with cold water. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down. Cover and simmer for at least an hour.
  5. Test pork products for doneness. Cut into the morcilla and chorizo to see if they're fully cooked.
  6. When ready to serve, chop parsley. Cut morcilla and chorizo into quarters and serve a couple pieces in each bowl with some pork shoulder too. Serve the fabada hot, with parsley and slices of lemon for squeezing on top.
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Caitlin is a Paris-based writer and editor. She wrote about food and wine while living in Madrid after college, and had a brief career as a lawyer before moving back to Spain to work in restaurants and attend culinary courses at the Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastian. She has worked or staged at Septime in Paris, Mina and Nerua in Bilbao, and Bien Cuit in Brooklyn. In 2018, she and her husband launched a pop-up sandwich shop in Mallorca, Spain. Caitlin now lives in an ovenless apartment in the 9th arrondissement with her husband, Guillaume, and daughter, Mimi. Update: we have an oven now.