Codillo de Cerdo con Fabas – Pork Shank with Giant Beans

Last year I posted a recipe for a similar dish, this is a variation.  Two pork shanks here serve four people in a very warming winter casserole.

We need more wine, the bottle is almost empty!


  • 500g of large white beans (large cannellini or butter beans would be good) soaked overnight in water with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • Two large tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 large leek, roughly chopped
  • 4 sticks of celery and some of the celery leaves if you have them
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large onion peeled and quartered
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
  • A dried chili (optional)
  • Approx two cups of water (enough to cover the pork and beans)
  • Four slices of smoked bacon, diced
  • Salt and pepper (don´t season until the beans are cooked)
  • 4 whole cloves or a ½ a level teaspoon of ground cloves

Put all the  ingredients into a large pot with a lid and cook very slowly for about 2 or 3 hours (or longer) in a low oven or on top of the stove.  If you have time, it´s best left overnight before eating to allow the flavours to really develop.

When the beans are soft, strain the liquid off (reserving it) and take as many of the vegetables out from the meat and beans as you can and put into a blender jug.  Blend the vegetables with a little of the cooking liquid then stir into the remaining liquid.  Add the beans and meat (which will have fallen off the bones) into the thick soup, check for seasoning, reheat and serve with a drizzle of olive oil over the top.


62 thoughts on “Codillo de Cerdo con Fabas – Pork Shank with Giant Beans

  1. This looks very nice, Tanya. My husband loves those white beans and would make a similar stew in the past. I’m definitely trying your recipe. 😉

  2. I love white beans. We eat a lot of meals like this in our house. So tasty, not too hard to make, and it helps save money for our travels. I’ll have to try this recipe.

    1. Definitely cost saving dishes, but just as tasty as something more expensive! Have just this minute booked our tickets to be in London for August as we have tickets for 1 (yes, just the 1!) Olympic event so thought it best to get in early before the prices rocket 😉

      1. Congrats! I’m jealous, we still haven’t found any tickets. Looks like we will have to live with the hassles and not enjoy the games. What event are you going to? We are trying to get our families out here before the Olympics to save money on airfare.

      2. We got tickets to the basketball final and gold medal ceremony (although we applied for loads more). We are hoping that Spain will continue to do well and win the gold…mind you, I don´t understand the game at all, it´s Big Man who is the fan! You´ll have to do like my friends and family and just have parties and watch the games on tv…much more comfortable! Recommend you book soon, even Easy Jet was getting pricey.

      3. My better half is a huge basketball fan. I understand the game but it isn’t my fave. But how exciting that you are going! We booked one flight for the fam so far. We had the calendar out today and would like to book the other trip in the next few days…but this part of the fam is more difficult to schedule. Busier schedules with kids and work. It would be a relief to get all of it settle before summer arrives.

        I’ll have to think about having parties instead. Oh well

      4. Good luck – I´m sure you´ll have fun, whatever you do! (And if Spain don´t get through to the final you might find yourselves with 2 tickets 😉 )

      5. I hope for Big Man’s sake they make it…but if you do need to unload some tickets give me a shout 🙂

  3. Just beautiful, I love this slow cooked hearty soul food…served with toasted crusty bread! Ohhh la la! Have a wonderful weekend x

  4. This looks so tempting, Tanya! It’s comfort in a bowl. Just last week, I saw pork shanks at a grocery and I’d never noticed them before. At the time, I wondered how to prepare them. Thanks to you, I now know. Unfortunately — and I swear this is true — I can’t remember which store had the shanks! Well, I know they’re out there, somewhere, and when I see them next time, I’m buying them!

    1. I do believe you – a pal has asked me to buy her something which I bought a couple of months ago. Do you think I can remember where I bought it…nope! Hopefully we´ll both have a “lightbulb” moment soon 😉

  5. What a tasty and comforting meal. I don’t know why we don’t see more dishes like this, especially at this time of the year.

  6. This looks delicious Tanya. do you grow any Gigandes/Gigantic/Butter Beans? I struggle to get them to fully fatten up and ripen unless we have a great summer and warm autumn. But boy are they tasty! Oh and I’ve never heard of adding “a pinch of bicarbonate of soda” to the soaking process before.

  7. I’ve never seen beans like that around here, but Hubby would adore them…I’ll have to look around!
    This sounds like my kind of recipe – lots of flavors, not much work, and limited clean-up! 😀

  8. This looks (and sounds) wonderful! We’re going to have to try this one, especially with the chili added. 🙂

  9. I haven’t heard anyone say Pork shank to me since my grandmother was alive :). And even though i am new to beans, I have to say this looks absolutely wonderful.

  10. Hi Chica – I love butter beans! I don’t know that many recipes for them, so it’s always good to see new ideas of what to do with them 🙂 I didn’t have pork in ages – I considered buying some today for dinner tomorrow but didn’t in the end. Will have to consider this if I can get a hold of some butter beans soon – they’re not easy to find here.

    1. It´s so funny, isn´t it, that some foodstuffs which seem commonplace to us, as just not available where we live. Some simple things take me by surprise sometimes.

  11. This is very similar to a dish here they ahve in Portugal but it is made with Favas (Haricot beans) Not a great bean lover myself, but since moving here…I am learning to like them more 🙂

  12. I am loving your stews, they’re rustic very similar to Filipino style of cooking. I know a lot of my friends would love this recipe of yours

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