One of Lenny’s favorite Portuguese recipes is this one for Portuguese Favish, which is a fava bean stew. His mother knows to make it every time we are back in Boston. My recipe is different than her recipe, and I only make it when fava beans are in season. It is rich in flavor and comes together rather quickly.
When I decide to make Portuguese food Lenny often says that it is interesting to see how the same recipe that is used by his mother comes together differently when I make it. The same holds true for this recipe. His mother will use either dry or frozen fava beans. To be honest, I am not a big fan of either option, as I find the dried fava a tad mealy and the frozen one holds more moisture which I feel dilutes the flavor of the recipe.
Being more of a seasonal home chef, I wait until springtime when fava beans are in season. They require some extra work but in my opinion, ten extra minutes is completely worth it. After I posted a photo of this recipe last month on Instagram, the fava bean police came after me saying I had completely made the recipe wrong by using fresh fava beans and by not removing the outer skin. When I make this recipe I remove the beans from the pod and I keep the outer skin on. When I am making a recipe that is delicate and less hearty, then I blanch the beans and remove the outer skin. There is no need to do this with this recipe.
The rich flavoring comes from using a spicy Portuguese Chouriço and crushed red pepper. Portuguese Chouriço is completely different than linguica. Chouriço is made with pork that is left somewhat chunky as well it is spicy. Linguica is also made with pork but the meat is ground of more and it tends to be smoked. This is a brand we buy when we can find it, it is called Mellos. If you cannot find true Portuguese Chouriço then feel free to use linguica, the flavor will be slightly different but it will give be good.
I have served this recipe with and without eggs. When I am making a side dish to serve with something else, I leave out the eggs. When I want to serve as a main then I add the eggs. That being said, I do not cook my eggs in the favish, instead, I poach and add just before serving. I think the eggs turn rubbery and are overcooked when adding to the favish. If I am being honest, it would not photograph very well either and you would never want to make this delicious recipe if there were grayish green eggs sitting on top.
1/2 large Portuguese Chouriço, cut into small circles then cut in half
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper
2 cups of fresh fava beans, about 2 1/4 pounds
1/2 cup of vinho verde wine or water
3 eggs, optional
1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely minced
In a large and deep frying pan over medium heat cook the Chouriço for 2 minutes. Add the onion, stir and cook for 3 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, crushed red pepper, and the fava beans into the onion mixture. Pour in the wine, stir and lower the heat to a low simmer. Cook until the fava beans are tender; about 10 minutes. Stir often.
Add the parsley, stir and then remove from the heat.
If you are cooking the eggs with the fava beans, crack each egg into the mixture and cook to your liking. If you want to top with poached eggs like I do then poach separately and add the eggs after stirring in the parsley.