Recipe: Fabada Asturiana (pork and bean stew)

Fabada Asturiana
My boyfriend, who hails from Cantabria on the north coast of Spain, introduced me to Fabada Asturiana on my first trip back home with him. The hearty bean stew comes from his neighbouring province Asturias – and is most often served with bread for lunch.

Since 2016 is International Year of Pulses, I’ve been meaning to try it with local ingredients. While the traditional dish is most commonly served with faba beans, I substituted white northern beans grown in Alberta. I used Alberta pork belly and chorizo I picked up from Sunterra Market along with black pudding or blood sausage (called morcilla in Spain), which I ordered from Irving Farms. I found that Save-On Foods carries the same Spanish paprika that I brought back from Spain this past summer – it has a very distinct smoky taste to the more common paprika in stores.

What you’ll need…

1 white onion, chopped
1 head garlic, minced
2 tbsp canola oil
2 cups of faba, northern or white beans
1 tbsp smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton)
250 gram pork belly, cut into cubes
2 chorizo sausages,
1 portion black pudding, or blood sausage


Soak the beans in a pot of water overnight, making sure the water generously covers the beans.

In a large enameled cast-iron casserole dish or heavy duty pot,  add the oil, onion, garlic, and pimentón, and cook over low-medium heat until onions are soft.

Drain the beans, rinse, and add to the pot with the pork belly. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for an hour and 15 minutes.

Add the chorizo and blood sausage, but be sure to keep in their casings. Simmer for 45 minutes more or until beans are thoroughly cooked and liquid has reduced to the consistency of a stew.

Remove the chorizo and blood sausage, and once cool enough to handle, cut into chunks. Either add the sausage pieces back to the dish and serve, or serve on a plate on the side for people to add to their own bowl of Fabada Asturiana.

4th Day of Christmas – 4 Pork Sausages from Valbella Gourmet Foods

On the 4th day of Christmas I will treat myself to four leek & cabbage pork sausages from Valbella Gourmet Foods!

Valbella Gourmet Foods was established in 1978 by Walter and Leonie von Rotz in Canmore. What began as a small 1,000 sq.ft. plant has progressed over the last 30 years into a 25,000 sq.ft. production plant. Their European style sausages, ham and air dried meats stand out thanks Valebella’s commitment to excellence paired with its European tradition. Having sampled a wide selection of their sausages, cured meats and treats during Christmas in November at the Jasper Park Lodge, I can vouch that their products are incredible. 

In Edmonton you can easily pick up their products at Sunterra Market or at Acme Meat Market (where I picked up my sausages). For a European-inspired meal using the sausages I picked up try the recipe for Sausage & Leek Hash below.


Sausage & Leek Hash


1 tsp canola oil

4 Valbella leek & cabbage sausages

4 potatoes, cooked and sliced

1 cup cooked, sliced leeks

1 tsp creamed horseradish

1/3 cup sharp cheddar, grated



  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan. Add the sausages and fry for 8-10 minutes on low/medium heat until well browned. Remove the sausages, then slice them on the diagonal and set aside.
  2. Turn the heat to high, then add the potatoes and leeks and give them a good stir. Continue to cook on a fairly high heat until the potatoes begin to brown and turn crisp. Toss the sausage slices back in along with the creamed horseradish and heat for a further 2-3 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, sprinkle in the cheese, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.