Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Fababa del Duero

Fababa del Duero is essentially a stew consisting of various forms of porky deliciousness combined with a few seasonings and white beans. So, pardon the indulgence, but it is truly pork and beans, Spanish style.

It is easy to make once you have assembled your ingredients, and even easier to eat. I accidentally rendered the version we had last night for dinner perilously close to the "too hot to eat" line, but my husband and I (bravely) managed to eat every bite and then wipe the last bits of sauce left from the bowl.

The heat came from the many jalapeño peppers encased in the wonderful Nilgai sausage links gifted to us from a hunter friend, in combination with the amazing smoked Spanish hot paprika that brings the stew it's other major blast of flavor. Knowing this, next time I will throw in another couple of cups of white beans with liquid to tone it down. If you are using a smoked sausage that is not liberally sprinkled with little green heaters, then no need for caution except to take the "serves 6-8" notation provided by the recipe writers as a gentle suggestion rather than a fact. In our house, this recipe will serve closer to 4.

I provide the nutritional information because I know some folks are trying to be very careful. Honestly? If you are going to prepare a dish calling for two kinds of sausage that are added to a pot already containing a quarter pound of bacon then you can't get too hung up on fat or calories. This is for cold weather, let's say after a day of working hard doing - whatever it is that passes for hard work in your life. Otherwise either avoid this kind of porcine goodness altogether or forget about the fat calories and enjoy! You can have salad all day tomorrow.....

Fababa Del Duero

This hearty stew has its roots near the region of Ribera del Duero, which runs through the heart of Castilla. Serve it with a full-bodied red wine, thick slices of country bread and a simple green salad. Serves 6-8.

2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound bacon, cut into large pieces
3 cloves of garlic
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon thyme
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup chicken broth
4 cups white beans with liquid
1 1/2 pounds smoked sausage, browned on all sides, cut into serving size pieces
1/2 pound chorizo or dry cured sausage, cut into large chunks

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and bacon pieces. Sauté the onion and garlic until lightly browned. Add the thyme, paprika, and black pepper. Add the chicken broth, white beans, and smoked sausage. Simmer very gently for 20-24 minutes until sausage is cooked through. Add the chorizo and cook another 5 minutes.

Per serving (303g-wt): 660 calories (410 from fat) 46g total fat, 15g saturated fat, 7g dietary fiber, 29g protein, 33g carbohydrate, 85mg cholesterol, 1350mg sodium

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