Habas con Jamon – Broad Beans with Cured Ham

Now, if there was a prize for the least photogenic dish in the world, this one would be up there with the final contenders. It´s a very simple and tasty dish, especially made with the young tender broad beans which are in season right now. Our vegetable patch is delivering nicely and I make these regularly.

And then I take a photo. But to no avail. Broad beans braised slowly for about 30 minutes just don´t look pretty. You have the photos to prove it here. Sigh. If only they were as photogenic as Roger´s beautiful beetroot. But what they lack in looks, they make up for in taste, you´ll just have to believe me on this.

It´s quite a versatile dish – it is served here as a tapas, a side dish or with fried or poached eggs as a light supper dish. It can also be mixed into beaten eggs and made into a tortilla or huevos revueltos (scrambled eggs).

Ingredients

  • 500g of young broad beans (podded, but keep the skins and slice them into 1cm pieces)
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • About 6 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced lengthways in half
  • 100g of finely chopped jamon (or use lardons or pancetta)
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoning
  • Sweet pimentón (optional)

The Spanish way of making this dish is to braise the onion, garlic and beans (pods and skins) in olive oil until tender. It does taste wonderful but this is how I do it.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and  add the bean pods and skins and cook for about 4-5 minutes until just starting to become tender. Drain. Put about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil into a deep frying pan that has a lid (or that you can cover with foil) and gently poach the onions and garlic (with the lid on) until they are soft.

Another dish..another day...and no, still not pretty!

Now add the beans and continue to cook gently, stirring to mix the beans into the oil every so often, with the pan covered. They will simmer and braise until very tender. Near the end of the cooking time add the jamon which will also cook through. I also like to add a sprinkle of pimentón when I add the jamon, but this is not typical. Taste and season if necessary and serve hot or cold.

For a similar dish using runner beans, take a look at this recipe.

Big Man and I are heading to the UK tomorrow. We have packed our umbrella as I think we have a few rainy days awaiting us. I won´t have access to e-mail but I look forward to catching up with you all next week – hope it´s a good one for everyone!