fabada asturiana

I’d had a kilo bag of alubias blancas in the cupboard for ages and so finally decided to do something with them. But what? Foodie friends on Twitter suggested a Fabada Asturiana. This is traditionally made with fabes de la granga and saffron, but since I had alubias blancas I just went with those, and substituted paprika for saffron. Turns out alubias and fabes are the same thing, basically meaning “large white bean” in different regions of Spain. I think my large white beans were either haricot or cannellini (?). I also picked up a “fabada prep” vacuum-package at the supermarket, containing 300 grams of very serious looking chorizo and morcilla (black pudding) along with a chunk of fatty salt pork, or tocina. Love that they do this here. There is also a “puchero prep” pack available. One day… maybe.

As usual, when trying something new, I checked out a few different recipes on the internet and then did a sort of mash up while adding a twist or two of my own. And the result was very tasty indeed. Rich smoky flavour from the spicy pimentón, a lovely thick beany sauce and lots of meaty goodness. Perfect eating on a chilly January day.

Ingredients and instructions below…

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carrillada (aka pig’s cheeks)

I wasn’t planning on making carrilladas today, and had never made them before. Though I’ve had them several times at tapas bars and especially love the ones they serve at Bodeguita Romero. Anyhow, there I was in the supermarket and I saw these rather plump pig’s cheeks and thought – what the heck. After I got home I scoured the internet looking for a recipe and I started to despair when I saw most of them called for a pressure cooker. So what I ended up doing was taking ideas from about four different recipes and incorporating them into one. And I must say they turned out amazing! Served here with mixed veg and a bit of potato purée.

Recipe and instructions below the links…

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