|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.