Rafa's Fabada

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Ingredients (9)

  • 1 lb. large white beans, e.g., lima or Italian butter beans
  • 1 chorizo de Bilbao, weighing around 4 oz.
  • 1 morcilla, or similar blood sausage, around 4 oz.
  • 1 piece of slab bacon, skin on, around 4 oz.
  • 1 pig's ear, tail, or foot (optional)
  • 6 T olive oil
  • 2 t paprika (sweet paprika. or a combination of sweet and hot)
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 genererous tablespoon crushed garlic
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Rafa's Fabada

This is one of my very best food memories of Spain—the fabada cooked by my cousin-in-law, Rafa, a talented artist who generously gave me the recipe for this simple, delectable obra maestra. It is loaded with the flavors of chorizo, bacon, paprika, and garlic.

Note: while this dish is edible right after cooking, it is far better the next day.


  1. 1Soak the beans for several hours. Discard the water. In a large pot, place the beans and all the pork products with enough water to cover all the ingredients.
  2. 2Bring the pot to a boil and immediately reduce the heat to a bare simmer. Cook until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally. (This can take anywhere from 2 1/2 hours to 16 hours, depending on the size of the beans and the level of heat you are using.)
  3. 3Take out the sausages and bacon. Let them cool while you prepare the sofrito, then cut them into bite-sized pieces. Discard the other pork parts. Keep the beans simmering in enough water to just cover them.
  4. 4in a small saucepan, heat up the olive oil. Add the garlic, and cook until it turns a light gold. Stir in the paprika and flour, and cook for a couple of minutes. Pour the sofrito into the beans, and bring the mixture to a light boil to thicken the liquid.
  5. 5Add the sausages and bacon back into the fabada and cook everything together for at least another 15 minutes. Let it rest for several hours (overnight is better) before re-heating gently and serving.
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