I cook this dish using broad beans at three stages in their life cycle. Unpodded broad beans give a great earthiness and thick texture to this stew, single-podded beans provide a bitter creaminess, while the naked green beans supply a nutty freshness.
- 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) fresh broad (fava) beans
- 2 tsp butter
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 200 g (7 oz) pork chops
- 100 g (3½ oz) pancetta, cut into 1.5-cm (½-in) dice
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp sobrassada (see Note)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 150 ml (5 fl oz) dry sherry or dry white wine
- 800 ml (27 fl oz) chicken stock
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 mint sprigs, leaves picked
- sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- crusty bread, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Divide the broad beans into three even piles. Double-pod one-third of the beans, single-pod another third and leave the remaining beans whole, trimming the ends if they’re a bit scraggy.
- Heat the butter and half the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Add the pork chops and cook for 4–6 minutes until golden and sealed on both sides. Transfer to a wire rack with a roasting tin underneath and set aside.
- In the same pan, cook the pancetta and onion over medium–high heat for 6–8 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the sobrassada and garlic and cook for 3–4 minutes, until the sobrassada has completely broken down.
- Add the whole broad beans to the pan followed by the sherry or wine and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3–4 minutes, stirring the beans around to coat in the sauce.
- Add the chicken stock and return the pork chops to the pan, along with the lemon zest. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 12–15 minutes, until the beans are soft and wilted.
- Stir through the single-podded beans and continue to simmer, covered, for another 8–10 minutes, until the skins begin to shrivel and shrink away from the beans. Increase the heat to high, add the final batch of beans and half the mint, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, for 3–4 minutes, until the last batch of beans are soft but still green.
- Divide the beans and pork chops among four serving plates, squeeze over the lemon juice and finish with the remaining mint. Serve with crusty bread on the side.
• Sobrassada, a spreadable salami-like paste, can be purchased at delicatessens or online in Australia.
Recipes and images from Islas: Food of the Spanish Islands by Emma Warren, Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99