Recipe: Fabada (white bean and pork stew) with chimichurri

20m (plus soaking time) prep
45m cook

There’s something reassuring about having a packet of dried beans in the cupboard. With a few hours of soaking and a little time on the stove you’ve got a versatile, delicious and affordable cornerstone to countless meals and snacks.

This deceptively simple Spanish stew combines the creaminess of cannellini beans with the richness of three kinds of cured pork, plus a hit of hot smoked Spanish paprika and saffron powder (saffron threads that have been ground into a fine powder- substitute threads if powder is unavailable) for smokiness, colour and flavour.

To offset the rich combination of cured pork and creamy white beans, we’ve added a dollop of zingy chimichurri, bringing vibrancy and herbaceousness to this deliciously humble dish. Serve with thick slices of sourdough and prepare to be warmed from the inside-out.

Ingredients

Serves 4-6
300g dried cannellini beans View
1 medium-large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 chorizo sausages, sliced into thick discs
2 morcilla sausages (Spanish blood sausage), halved (optional)
6 slices thick-cut bacon or speck
500mL quality vegetable or chicken stock
1 tsp hot smoked paprika View
1 pinch saffron powder View
FOR THE CHIMICHURRI
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
Grated rind of one small lemon
2 tsp finely diced white onion
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes View
1/2 tsp salt flakes View
1/4 cup red wine vinegar View

Begin by soaking the beans in a large bowl with plenty of water overnight.

Transfer the beans and their soaking liquid to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Skim any foam from the surface, and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until beans are just tender. Drain and set aside.

In a saucepan, with a small splash of olive oil if needed, fry the bacon, chorizo and morcilla in batches over medium-high heat until very well browned, then remove from pan (leaving the rendered fat in the pan).

Reduce heat to low, then add the onions to the rendered sausage and bacon fat left in the saucepan and gently fry, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Pour the stock into the pan, then add the beans, cooked sausages and bacon, paprika and saffron powder. Bring to a simmer and cook for around 20 minutes or until beans are just beginning to fall apart.

To make the chimichurri, combine all ingredients in a small bowl, adjusting seasoning to taste.

Distribute the bean stew into bowls, top with a spoonful of chimichurri, and serve with thick slices of crusty bread.

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