Cocido de Habas y Chorizo

habas y chorizo

habas y chorizo

Broad Bean and Chorizo Stew

Broad Beans are a particular favourite of mine and since the season for them in England is quite short (June – September) I tend to buy a kilo per week during the summer, from Perry Court Farm, at the Islington Farmers’ Market.

broad beans

broad beans

The broad bean (also known as faba, fava, faves, haba, etc.) has been cultivated around the Mediterranean for at least 8,000 years, where the growing season is considerably longer than three or four months. Back in February, I noticed fresh broad beans alongside tomatoes and courgettes on the stalls of the local farmers in Barcelona’s Boqueria Market. In places where these beans have a longer growing season, leading to a surplus, they are often dried, in a similar manner to white beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc.

queviures antolin

queviures antolin

I was looking around Queviures Antolin (on the left hand side of the Boqueria, as you enter from the Ramblas) and came across some large dried habas (broad beans).



I used to come here to buy rice and lentils back in the 90s – the shop is another of the Barcelona “tin shops“, selling canned fish, wine, pulses, etc. Having never tried dried habas before, I couldn’t resist buying a kilo. I loved the fact that the beans are weighed out by the person who serves you and then you take them to a cashier for payment.



Inspired by Fabada Asturiana, an Asturian white bean and sausage stew, I decided to cook the dried broad beans with chorizo and ham stock.

broad beans and chorizo

broad beans and chorizo

Cocido de Habas y Chorizo recipe (serves 2 greedy people):

6 cooking chorizo (about 500g) – these are soft and uncured (available from good butchers and most large UK supermarkets)
300g dried broad beans (or fresh if in season)
4 slices of smoked streaky bacon (chopped)
6 pieces of garlic (finely chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 red pepper (chopped)
1 courgette (chopped)
4 large tomatoes (blanched, peeled and chopped) or 1 tin
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp anchovy paste
1 large tsp hot smoked pimentón
2 bay leaves
1/2 pint of homemade ham stock
black pepper
a splash of sherry vinegar
olive oil (as required)
a large piece of Stilton rind (optional)

First of all, this can be made in any kind of cooking pot, something cast iron would be ideal – I used a traditional Spanish terracotta cazuela (thanks to Chica Andaluza, who brought it back from Andalucía for me). I owned several cazuelas when I lived in Barcelona and they are a joy to cook with. They hold the heat well and can be used on a gas or electric hob, open fire and in an oven. They are made of clay, so must be heated up gently and treated with respect. Never add cold things to a hot dish or it will crack! These cazuelas are remarkably cheap in Spain (though quite expensive abroad) – the smallest are less than a Euro and large ones cost €6 – €8, (honestly!). The important factor here is to always season a new cazuela before use. If done properly the dish should last for years.

To season a cazuela:

1. Soak overnight in cold water.
2. Dry thoroughly.
3. Rub the underside with a piece of raw garlic (optional, but it’s what all the old ladies suggest).
4. Fill almost to the brim with cold water and heat very gently on the hob, turning the heat up slowly until the water bubbles.
5. Allow the water to evaporate over a couple of hours, until almost gone.
6. Allow the cazuela to cool – then it’s ready for use.

dried beans

dried beans

Dried beans require overnight soaking and 45 – 90 minutes cooking …or done the easy way, 1 hour soaking in boiling water and 12 minutes cooking in a pressure cooker. Prepare these beforehand.

Brown the cooking chorizo in olive oil – if using a cazuela add plenty of oil when the dish is cold and heat up slowly with the sausages in the pot. The chorizo will brown like cooking in a frying pan, once the cazuela has heated up (this keeps the flavour of the chorizo in the cooking oil, which won’t happen if cooked separately). When the chorizo are browned, remove them to a plate and fry the onions and bacon. Next add the garlic, followed by the red pepper and courgette. When the vegetables have been coated with oil and softened slightly, stir in the chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle on the pimentón, some black pepper and mix in the anchovy paste, tomato purée and a splash of sherry vinegar. Let this bubble for a few minutes before tasting – more seasoning can be added during the cooking process, as required.

When the seasoning is about right add the precooked broad beans and half the ham stock (warmed beforehand if using a cazuela). More stock can be added during cooking, as necessary. Now return the chorizo to the pot, along with the bay leaves. Cover the dish and simmer for a couple of hours. The sauce should reduce and thicken while the beans absorb the smokey paprika flavour. I was inspired to add a large piece of Colston Basset Stilton rind, left languishing in the fridge. Unwaxed natural cheese rind can be a great addition to a casserole or soup – it helps to thicken and impart a little umami flavour. Leftover Parmesan rind is always worth saving for a rainy day. This Stilton really held its own with the chorizo and pimentón, making the dish quite special.

Serve with a robust Spanish red wine, such as Era Costana Crianza Rioja.

N.B. Ham stock can be a great way to get more out of a ham bone – they do contain lots of flavour. See my stock post for instructions. This leg wouldn’t fit in the pressure cooker and I don’t possess a cleaver large enough to chop it up, so I left the top off and covered it with foil. It was gently simmered for about 4 hours. Don’t add salt when making ham stock, it contains enough already.

a bit of leg

a bit of leg

I was reminded of the murder weapon in Pedro Almodóvar’s ¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto? while cooking this – I think he got the idea from Roald Dahl.

About Mad Dog
This entry was posted in Barcelona, Drink, Food, Meat, Recipes, Shopping, Spanish and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Cocido de Habas y Chorizo

  1. Wow what a recipe. So Spanish and delicious. I love the anchovy paste, smoked pimento and the Stilton rind. I had never actually heard of using the rind before, but I’d love to try it. I bought cazuelas online when I first moved into my apartment but I didn’t know I had to season them. But I usually heat them up with what I’m cooking. This dish is exactly the kind of cooking that inspired me to start the blog. Im nostalgic for it. Sigh! Thanks for posting!

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Amanda, that’s one of the nicest comments I’ve ever had! I can’t remember where I heard about using cheese rind, but it’s definitely a great addition for flavour and nice to use up every bit of a special cheese. To be really authentic, I suppose Cabrales from Asturias would be the closest Spanish cheese to Stilton…
      I’m sure your cazuelas will be OK if you are cooking with them from cold, but you can always season them at any point in time. They do say that one should re-season a cazuela if it hasn’t been used for a while. I bought a diffuser for my cazuela, which spreads the heat out to make it even and helps to stop things sticking. They sell them in most cooks shops but I found one very cheap online 😉

  2. Eha says:

    Just so you know, Mad, have tried to comment at least 4-5 times ‘cause this huge fun – but get a ‘cancel’ notice or a ‘go-slow’ every time . . . this from Down Under where I have sent a large number of letters/messages etc off this morning . . . no importance but just thought you might like to know about some of the ‘no-shows’!! love and best Eha

    • Mad Dog says:

      Hi Eha, sorry about the problems – WordPress must be mucking around again – sometimes I wish they’d just leave everything alone! Thanks for your comment 🙂

  3. Nadia says:

    I have a garden full of fava beans, courgettes, tomatoes and live chorizo. This is a no brainer for dinner in the next few days.

  4. James Davies says:

    Wow – what a great sounding recipe – I love chorizo, anchovies and everything else in the ingredients list – can’t wait to try it out!

  5. Thanks very much for this post. Especially like the guidance on ‘tempering’ the earthernware dishes. I had a wonderful one from Mallorca but it gave up the ghost last year after years of good service. I will try your recipe as i like fresh broad beans a lot. I often use parmasan rinds in soups so will apply to this recipe.

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Sue! Cazuelas are wonderful cooking vessels and when you see how little they really cost, remarkably good value. It’s a shame they cost so much in London because it turns them into a luxury, as opposed to a staple. I’m sure parmesan rind will be very good in this 🙂

      • Sue Aron says:

        agree – they are ridiculously expensive here. I will just have to bring some back when i go to Valencia in September 🙂

        • Mad Dog says:

          It’s definitely worth taking a suitcase and some bubble wrap. Actually one of the best places in Barcelona is a Chinese shop, which sells bubble wrap too …and those little frying pans they use for tortillas in Barrafina!

  6. Michelle says:

    Oh, fresh favas, why are you never here? (Every now and then they have them at the fancy grocery, but always way past their prime.) I do occasionally see dried ones. Thanks for giving me a reason to try those again.

    • Mad Dog says:

      Hi Michelle – wow, favas are a very popular summer vegetable in England, so one can buy them everywhere. I’m sure they’d grow very well where you are, if you have space in the garden. Do try the dried favas, the taste is slightly stronger than fresh ones and they are quite creamy in a stew type dish.

  7. Sorry it’s taken so long to get here…the Spanish phone company cut off our phone and Internet a month earlier than we had asked so am up the mountian relying on dodgy mobile connections! This is one hell of a great dish, just what we like! Waaay too hot here right now for this kind of food but we’ll be back in about 2 weeks and cravinget dishes like this. More Cazuelas will be on their way to you soon!

    • Mad Dog says:

      OMG! I thought your blog was a bit quiet – what a nightmare. I’m glad you like the chorizo and broad beans – I’m sure the taste was improved by the wonderful cazuela, which is a joy to cook with. Thank you so much 🙂

  8. ChgoJohn says:

    When in Italy last, I noticed fave on the menus. Some were quite young and small, others regular sized. We’ve no such choice here, even at the farmers markets. All are large and none that I’ve seen are as fresh and vibrant green as those pictured above. My family never cooked fave, preferring to serve them raw before dinner. I do enjoy them cooked, however, and pairing them with chorizo sounds delicious, MD. I’m pinning this and will revisit come fall, once our temps drop a bit. Thanks!

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks John, that’s high praise indeed!
      I’ve always loved broad beans – they were my grandmother’s favourite vegetable. I must try them raw – tonight! They make a very good purée with garlic and the Catalans like them in a stew with garlic, onion and sausage.

  9. Karen says:

    I’ve yet to see fresh or dried favas here in Florida but I have seen canned ones. Your recipe sounds absolutely delicious, Mad Dog. Perhaps I could use the canned favas for the dish.

  10. Pingback: Lamb and Broad Bean Stew | Mad Dog TV Dinners

  11. Pingback: Black Bean Stew | Mad Dog TV Dinners

  12. Pingback: ‘Nduja | Mad Dog TV Dinners

  13. Pingback: Alubias Rojas con Garbanzos y Chorizo | Mad Dog TV Dinners

  14. Pingback: Pork with Black Beans | Mad Dog TV Dinners

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.