Spanish Cassoulet

Arrocina beans were the original base for this. They are tiny white beans grown in the Gredos mountains of Spain. I’d never heard of them until I found the original of this recipe in Barrafina but I imagine any of the white pulses would do admirably. The original had more of a description than a title: Arrocina Beans with Chorizo, Morcilla and Pork Belly. However, given that it is a stew of white beans, belly pork and sausages, this seems to be something of a Spanish equivalent of a French Cassoulet, hence my title.

[Yet to be tried.]


serves: 6
preparation time: 30 mins
cooking time: 2½ hrs


  • 500g pork belly, in the piece
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 fennel bulbs, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 banana shallots, chopped
  • 1 leek (white only), diced
  • 2 sticks celery, diced
  • 1 head garlic, cloves finely chopped
  • 150g morcilla curada
  • 3 dried choricero peppers, soaked for 2 hrs
  • 3 dried guindilla chillies, halved lengthwise
  • 5 bay leaves, preferably fresh
  • small bunch fresh thyme
  • 500g dried white beans, soaked overnight
  • 2ltrs chicken stock
  • 800g cooking chorizo, sliced
  • 150g morcilla de Burgos, skinned & sliced
  • 1 Savoy cabbage, finely sliced & lightly cooked
  • Salt & pepper


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.

Rub the meaty side of the pork belly with a little of the olive oil and season it with salt, pepper and cumin seeds. Put it into a large roasting tray. skin side down, and roast in the oven for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and cut it into strips ~ 3cm in width. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a large pan or casserole over a medium heat and add 2 dessertspoons of olive oil. Add the vegetables and garlic and cook gently, stirring, for 10 minutes. Peel the morcilla curada and crumble it into the casserole with your hands. Drain the choricero peppers and slice, removing the seeds. Add the choriceros, chillies, bay leaves and thyme to the casserole and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the drained Arrocina beans and the chicken stock and simmer very gently, uncovered, for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. until the beans are cooked and beautifully soft.

Heat a dessertspoon of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chorizo and morcilla de Burgos and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. then add to the stew. Finally add the sliced pork belly and cooked Savoy cabbage. Season with salt and pepper. and serve.

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