Fava beans are a seasonal dish in Portugal… for about three to four Saturdays that go from late April to mid May, my father cooks Fava beans “à moda de Mira”, meaning Mira style…
Although this is not my favourite dish…it entails so many memories and meanings that I am sure I will carry on this family tradition…
There is a Portuguese saying about fava beans: “Maio as dá, maio as leva!” meaning that May is the time for fava beans…in May they come and in May they go…that is, of course, if you want to eat them fresh off the pod…
This fava bean dish…typical of the Gândara region, namely in Mira, is quite hardy not only because of the beans, but mainly because of the generous amount of fatty ingredients that accompany this recipe…so if you have a delicate stomach: Read no more.
Here is what you need:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 table spoon of lard
1 Slice of meaty belly bacon
1 pound of baby back ribs and spare ribs (cut into small pieces)
Diced chouriço (black pudding/morçela or typical Portuguese choriço)
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced, preferably new potatoes…
1 1/2 pound of fava beans
Here is what you do:
About an hour before you start, sprinkly kosher salt on the sliced and diced meat and chouriços. Once you get started, heat the olive oil and the lard in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the meat and let it fry. Add one or two garlic cloves and some sliced garlic leaves. Careful not to let it dry/fry too much. Also remember not to add any extra salt.
In a separate pot, cook potatoes and fava beans…with just a small amount of salt… When the fava beans and the potatoes are cooked, drain the water, pour the fried meats and the oil and fat from the pan onto the fava beans and potatoes. Remove from heat and allow flavours to meld…and come together…
Garnish with fresh garlic leaves.
Oh! The eggs! … some households make fava beans without them…others do not make fava beans without them!