In Spain’s rugged Asturias region, winter winds coming off the Atlantic demand rib-sticking meals that make the most of preserved foods.
That often means fabada asturiana, a homey mix of cured meats, dried beans and alliums slowly simmered with various cuts of smoked pork. It could spend half a day on the stove, but in this recipe from our book “Tuesday Nights Mediterranean,” which features weeknight-friendly meals from the region, we make a quick-and-easy version that comes together in 30 minutes.
We pared back on the meats, using only chorizo and ham, both of which lend deep flavor to the broth. The dish gets its name from fabas, the large beans traditionally used, but we found that canned white beans worked well. We especially liked the relatively large size and creamy texture of cannellinis, but great northern and navy beans are fine, too.
A pinch of saffron adds a Spanish flavor and fragrance, while giving the stew an alluring golden hue.
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Be sure to not overcook the chorizo and ham after adding them to the sautéed onion mixture. If the pieces begin to sear or brown, they’ll be chewy in the finished dish. Cook only until the chorizo begins to release some of its fat.