Fabada - Ham & Beans
 Source: The Best of Spanish Cooking, Janet Mendel
Serves 4

1 pound butter beans (soaked overnight)
14 ounces black pudding
14 ounces choizo
14 ounces cured ham
5 ounces salt pork
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 whole bay leaf 
The previous day, put the fabada  beans (Northern White beans) to soak in water and cover.  Put the salt-cured ham (or shoulder) to soak in hot water.  Blanch the salt pork in boiling water.  The following day, wash the sausages to eliminate excess smokiness.  Drain beans and put them in a deep earthware casserole or large cooking pot and add water to cover the beans by a depth of two fingers.

Bring to a boil and skim off the froth.  Toast the saffron lightly and crush it in a mortar or teacup.  Dissolve in a little water and add to the beans.  Add the smoked ham and salt pork to the casserole, pushing them to the bottom of the beans.  Return to the boil and skim.  Then add sausages and skim again.  Add the bay-leaf, then cover and cook very slowly, 2 to 3 hours, or until beans are very tender.  Add cold water occasionally to just barely keep the beans covered.  Do not stir. 

 Let sit 20 minutes off the heat before serving.

NOTES : An Asturian dish, usually made with salt-cured ham (lacon), or pork shoulder, but ham or black bacon can be substituted.  The black pudding "Morcilla"  (blood sausage) and chorizo should be smoked if possible. In rural Spain many who keep their own pigs, make their own black pudding with fresh pig's blood at the annual "matanza".  Spain likes its blod-puddings flavored with paprika, onions, garlic, cloves, pepper, majoram, coriander and cumin. The fabes are big, white beans.  You can use dry butter beans or Northern Wite beans instead. 

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