These fabada beans are the finest quality, with very limited production. These 'Fabes de la Granja' are the key ingredient in the hearty fabada stew of Asturias, in northern Spain. This rich meal, flavored with cured meats and smoky paprika, is famous across Spain. The fabada beans must be hearty and absorbent, with a buttery flavor and smooth texture.
The beans come stamped with the 'Denominacion Especifica Faba Asturiana', certifying that the beans were hand harvested in Asturias and only the best unblemished whole beans are selected. This quality is important, as fabada beans are able to absorb the rich, meaty tastes that chorizo and morcilla sausages add to the broth, just like top quality short grained rice is important for in paella.
The secret to their quality is in how they are grown. The beans are planted by hand along the fertile valleys and riverbanks of Asturias. They take 150 days to mature, unlike typical beans that only take 90 days. They have to be hand tied, hand husked, and then dried in traditional horreos, wooden barns raised on granite poles.
There is no substitute for careful attention to quality, and it is necessary to follow centuries-old procedures. The result is the very finest fabada beans in the world.
These top quality 'granja' variety fabada beans are grown and harvested exclusively in Asturias.
Here is a classic recipe:
1 pound beans, dry
10 cups water
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz Serrano ham, chopped
8 oz chorizo sausage, chunked
6 oz morcilla sausage, chunked
2 Tbsp Spanish olive oil
1 tsp pimentón smoked paprika
1 pinch of Saffron
- Soak beans in cold water for 8 hours. Drain.
- Add beans and water to a large pot or casserole dish.
- Bring to a boil and skim the foam.
- Add the saffron and paprika.
- Cook on a low boil for 2 to 3 hours.
- While the beans cook, add the olive oil to a heavy skillet.
- Add the onion, garlic, ham, chorizo, and morcilla.
- Brown for a few minutes. Reserve.
- When the beans are ready, remove 1 cup of cooked beans.
- Mash the cup of beans and stir into the pot.
- Add the onion and meat mixture.
- Simmer for 40 minutes.
- Add salt to taste.
- Take off heat and let sit for 30 minutes to allow the juice to thicken.