Butter Bean, Morcilla and Chorizo Stew 5

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.

Preparado Fabado

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.

Butter Bean, Morcilla & Chorizo Stew

Serves: 2

15g lard
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


  1. Melt the lard in a pan over a medium heat.
  2. Sauté the diced bacon until it colours slightly (around 3-5 minutes)
  3. Add the celery and garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the vermouth and boil off the alcohol.
  5. Add the tomatoes and break them up in the pan with your cooking spoon.
  6. Add the nora peppers, smoked pimenton and hot pimento to the pan and leave to reduce (around 25 minutes).
  7. Meanwhile, put the butter beans, chorizo, morcilla and pancetta in a pressure cooker and cover with water.
  8. Add 10g of salt per litre of water and then bring the cooker up to full pressure.
  9. Cook for 13 minutes and then allow to depressurize naturally.
  10. Strain the beans and reserve the sausages (the pancetta can be reused in another recipe).
  11. 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).
  12. Take off the heat, season to taste and stir in the sherry vinegar.
  13. Mix the butter beans into the sauce and stir thoroughly.
  14. Toast the two slices of bread and drizzle with some olive oil.
  15. Place a slice of toast in each plate and spoon over the beans and place the sausages on top.

5 thoughts on “Butter Bean, Morcilla and Chorizo Stew

  1. Reply Bill Mar 13, 2012 2:05 pm

    You just reminded me that I have a similar fabada pack sitting in a cabinet. They were unrefrigerated in the shop in Madrid so I haven’t chilled it. Need to use it!

  2. Reply stefano Mar 13, 2012 5:13 pm

    Yeah, the ones I used for this were months out of date but because they’d been in the fridge I figured they’d be fine; I might not have been that blasé if I’d been keeping them in a cupboard though.

  3. Reply Aoife Mc Mar 27, 2012 5:17 pm

    I’ve never heard of Morcilla. I wonder if you could find it in Dublin? Maybe Magills. Chorizo is always the ingredient I turn to when I’m feeling a bit uninspired or tired in the kitchen. It makes everything taste great with little effort from the cook! Your stew looks amaze. Yum!

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