This meal was borne of a larder full of dried ingredients that are always handy to have on standby for when you haven’t had a chance to do the week’s shopping. The reason there’s such a Spanish feel to the recipe is because I used the last of some chorizo and morcilla a friend of mine brought us back from his holidays there last year. You can’t tell from the picture but on the front of the packet it says ‘fabada‘ which is a Asturian bean stew: it wasn’t much of a stretch to improvise a recipe knowing this.
As you can see, they come in a vacuum pack and they’d been sitting in my fridge for months so I figured if ever there was a time to finally open them this was it. I decided to use the last of some butter beans I had because you can cook them using a pressure cooker in less than fifteen minutes without pre-soaking; as well, it’s a short enough time to ensure that the sausages, which help flavour the beans, don’t overcook.
You may also notice a strange ingredient I’ve mentioned before called the ñora pepper but if you don’t have any it’s fine to just add some more sweet pimenton. I get them from a great little site called The Spicery who have very reasonable delivery rates to Ireland and an excellent selection of dried spices. I let the peppers rehydrate in the sauce and then scraped off the flesh although this was a little bit messy: I might soak them in some warm water beforehand next time. Either way, remove the skin as it’s quite tough and unpleasant to eat.
2 slices smoked bacon, diced
50g celery, grated
2 cloves garlic, grated
75ml red vermouth
400g tinned tomatoes
2 dried ñora peppers, deseeded
5g smoked pimenton
2.5g hot pimenton
2.5g sweet pimenton
150g dried butter beans
2 small cooking chorizos
2 small morcilla sausages
1 small piece of pancetta, whole
2.5ml sherry vinegar
2 big slices of crusty white bread
- Melt the lard in a pan over a medium heat.
- Sauté the diced bacon until it colours slightly (around 3-5 minutes)
- Add the celery and garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in the vermouth and boil off the alcohol.
- Add the tomatoes and break them up in the pan with your cooking spoon.
- Add the nora peppers, smoked pimenton and hot pimento to the pan and leave to reduce (around 25 minutes).
- Meanwhile, put the butter beans, chorizo, morcilla and pancetta in a pressure cooker and cover with water.
- Add 10g of salt per litre of water and then bring the cooker up to full pressure.
- Cook for 13 minutes and then allow to depressurize naturally.
- Strain the beans and reserve the sausages (the pancetta can be reused in another recipe).
- When the tomato sauce has thickened, remove the ñora pepper and scrape the flesh from its skin and put back in the pan (discard the skin).
- Take off the heat, season to taste and stir in the sherry vinegar.
- Mix the butter beans into the sauce and stir thoroughly.
- Toast the two slices of bread and drizzle with some olive oil.
- Place a slice of toast in each plate and spoon over the beans and place the sausages on top.