Fabada inspired black turtle bean and sausage stew

I was watching and old program with chef Rick Stein travelling and cooking his way around Spain. One dish caught my eye, he was visiting a lady who did morcilla, the Spanish version of blood sausage. The morcilla recipe had been in the lady’s family for generations. When the morcilla was done she made a famous Spanish stew, Fabada. For this she used morcilla, Fabes de la Granja, large white beans and chorizo. It stewed until the beans were soft and the sausages cooked through. I couldn’t remember anything else that went in to the dish but it looked like a perfect winter dish.


I didn’t have any large white beans and when I inspected my bean stash I found some black turtle beans. I soaked them overnight in preparation. I used beans and sausage and this is perhaps where the similarities ends but the combination of beans and sausage works really well. I couldn;t find any chorizo so I got some Italian hot sauages from The Black Pig, the sausages had fennel and chilli in.


Sausages and bacon08Nov_Sausages


Black turtle beans08Nov_BlackTurtleBeans


Prepared vegetables and sausages 08Nov_Ingredients


Black turtle bean and sausage stew

preparation time 10 minutes 

cooking time 1 hr 

serves 5-6


  • 2 1/2 dl or 1 1/4 cup dried black turtle beans to soak overnight
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped fine
  • 2 carrots, sliced and quatered
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 red chilli, fine sliced
  • 1 dl Chinese mushrooms, shredded
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 3 Italian hot sausages
  • 1 Tolouse sausage
  • 1 blood sausage
  • 3 rashes of smoked bacon, sliced
  • 5 dl or 2.5 cup passata
  • 1.5 litre or 7.5 cups of water
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 6 tomatillos, quatered
  • 2 tbsp oil for cooking
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • a little cold water
  • salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan and add the garlic and the bacon to infuse it. Add the onion, celery and the carrot. Let the vegetables gently brown and then add the spices and the shredded Chinese mushrooms.


Shredded Chinese mushrooms 08Nov_ChineseMushrooms


Last add the passata and the water. Bring to a boil and add the sausages. Lower the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the suasages are cooked. The blood sausage fell apart and integrated beautifully in to the sauce. When the sausages are cooked remove them from the stew. Bring the stew to a boil and reduce the liquid by one third. Mix the flour with some cold water and add to the stew with the tomatillos and let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the tomatillos are cooked through and the beans are soft.




Serve the stew with bread and butter. This is a very rich and hearty stew, full of flavour and the only thing that would have made it better would have been to come in from the ski slope, really cold and just tuck in to a plate of this true winter warming stew.










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