Prendes-Style Asturian Bean Stew

Metric version of recipe

Yields 8 portions

Ingredient Amount
Large white beans, preferably from Asturias (fabes) 2 lb.
Ham hock, soaked in water for 2 hours 1 ea.
Chicken stock 3 cups
Pancetta, bacon, or salt pork, soaked in water for several hours and drained 8 oz.
Olive oil, extra virgin 3/4 cup
Blood sausages (morcilla) (about 1 pound) 4 ea.
Spanish chorizo sausages (about 14 oz.) 8 ea.
Onions, chopped 1 1/3 cups
Spanish sweet paprika 1 ½ tsp.
Saffron threads, diluted in1 Tbsp. water ¼ tsp.
Salt 1–2 tsp.

Method

  1. Sort through the beans to remove any rocks or debris. Soak overnight in 3 quarts of water. Drain well in a colander.
  2. Bring the ham hock and chicken stock to a boil over medium-high heat in a small saucepan; reduce the heat to low and simmer until the ham is tender and falls away from the bone, about 2 hours. Remove the chicken stock and when cool enough to handle, shred the meat and set aside or refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Make the beans while the ham hock is cooking. Combine the pancetta, bacon or salt pork and ½ cup of the oil in a large flameproof casserole or Dutch oven and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, or until some of the fat has been rendered.
  4. Add the beans and the sausages and 10 cups of water, then slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim away the foam that comes to the top before the beans reach a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 1 ½ hours, or until the beans are just tender. Add small amounts of water or stock as needed to keep the liquid level ½ inch above the beans.
  5. Heat the remaining oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add the onions. Cook, stirring, until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes, and add the sweet paprika. Continue to cook, stirring, for another 5 minutes, until fragrant and very tender. Stir into the beans along with the saffron. Cover tightly, remove from the heat, and let sit for 1 hour. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt as desired.
  6. Turn on the heat again and bring the beans back to a simmer over medium heat. Add more liquid if necessary. Do not boil, but cook gently until the beans are tender and creamy, 30 minutes to an hour.
  7. Remove the meats and cut into ½-inch pieces. Serve 1 ¼ cups of the beans, half a blood sausage, and 1 chorizo in a large soup bowl, and garnish with 1 tablespoon of the meat from the ham hock.

Additional tips

Recipe credit: Pedro Morán, as presented at the Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival. Published with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Presented at Seminar II A on Friday, Nov. 3, 2006.

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