For New Years I tried to recreate that experience. Oh did I ever. This is one protein, meaty, flavor packed dish – and it sings of Barcelona. This recipe is adapted from The Food of Spain: A Journey for Food Lovers.
** Jamon is a very special cured meat from Spain made from Iberian pigs which is carefully produced with very stringent guidelines. If you can’t find it you could substitute prosciutto but as I’ve discovered, it won’t have the same flavor as the good stuff. Try your local artisan meat shop or Italian deli. You can get it in Victoria at Ottavio’s Italian Bakery and Delicatessen.
Habas Con Jamon (Broadbeans with Jamon)
Yield 4 servings
- 4 Lbs fava beans (aka broad beans)
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 C yellow onion, peeled & diced (approx. 1 onion)
- 1 Tbsp garlic, peeled & crushed (approx. 2 garlic cloves)
- 175g Jamón or Ibérico Spanish Ham (you can substitute smoked prosciutto if need be)
- 2/3 C Verejo wine
- ¾ C good quality chicken stock
- Coarse sea salt + fresh cracked black pepper.
- First, prepare the fava beans. This does take a bit of time but it's very easy. Snap off the top end of the bean and gently peel off the seam (like peas). Then gently wiggle your fingers inside to open the pod. Pop out the beans and discard the shells to the compost.
- Now here's the time consuming part: the beans are tricky and have a second shell. You'll need to bring a large pot of water to a boil, dump the beans in, boil for about 30 - 45 seconds to loosen the second casing and then immediately drain and run cold water over the beans to stop the cooking process and maintain their brilliant green color. Now you can carefully make a tear in the outer coating near the "bum" of the bean (when you see them you'll know what I mean) and just gently pinch the bean out of it's casing. Tada! Bright green broad beans! Again, compost the shell.
- Now’s the easy part: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, Jamón and garlic. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until onion softens.
- Add the prepared broad beans and wine and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half.
- Add the stock, reduce heat to low-medium, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 10, or until the beans are tender, and most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with coarse sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
- Serve hot and saddle up with some crusty bread to soak up the sauce.