Soak faba beans the night before in lots of water and in a large container, as they will swell. In another container put the chorizo and blood sausages, pork shoulder and bacon (which, together, is known as “compango” in Austurias).
The next day, in a deep casserole dish, put the beans, the onion cut in two, the bayleaf, a touch of oil, the compango, and finally add cold water until ingredients are submerged by at least 3 cm.
When boiling, add more cold water to “cut” the cooking (known as “scaring the fabas”). Do this two or three times during the cooking process. Do not stir the beans with a spoon but my moving the casserole dish. Toward the end of the cooking cover the dish with lid. On on top of the lid set an envelope with saffron strands until they’re warmed. Add the saffron to the casserole. Taste and add salt if needed.
Before serving remove the onion and bayleaf.
The stew should neither be too runny nor too thick.
Serve the compango separately allowing each diner to add some to his or her plate as desired.
The fabada tastes even better if its sits for a while – or even the next day – as long as it’s kept cool in the refigerator.
For a subtler flavor, some prefer to cook the compango separately, adding it to the stew at the end in order to remove some of the fat secreted by the meat.