Now you can make the butifarra it's time for a recipe that uses them. Sausages have an affinity with beans - think Toulouse in a cassoulet, chorizo with chickpeas or even a tin of Heinz all day breakfast (maybe) - and this dish follows in that tradition. One minor difference with butifarra amb mongetes though is the sausages aren't cooked in the beans and the beans are fried, something I've never before seen as an end to boiled beans.
Mongetes are a Catalan white bean, I have seen haricot mentioned on the packaging along with the Catalunyan name but they're a lot larger than haricot I've seen over here. The most famed mongetes are grown in volcanic soils but in the absence of the expensive delicacies I've turned to cannellini beans, whose appearance is similar to the mongetes I've seen in Carrefour. Some recipes for butifarra amb mongetes do use braised beans but it was the fried finish, mentioned in Catalan Cuisine, that caught my eye. There was no recipe but frying beans in olive oil until golden is pretty self explanatory - no?
The answer was yes. After boiling the beans I left them overnight to cool which also dried them up. In the oil the outside crisped up nicely leaving a slight crunch before buttery soft middle, a crushed clove of garlic imparted a subtle flavouring. The sausages were tasty too, nicely flavoured with pepper and hints of the cinnamon rounding it off, but a change of dinner plans meant I half cooked the sausages then stopped for an hour and then overdid them a bit when finishing off but that's my own stupid fault. This is a reasonably dry dish so feel free to moisten up with aioli or garlic mayonnaise.
Butifarra amb Mongetes
250gr of dried cannellini beans
8 butifarra, or other meaty and peppery sausage (I'm thinking a proper Cumberland)
2 sticks of celery
3 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic
Soak the beans overnight.
Bring the beans to the boil in clean water and boil rapidly for 10 minutes.
Drain and discard the water then bring to the boil with more water, the onion, carrot, celery, bay and peppercorns. Turn down the heat to a very gentle simmer and give them 60-90 mins until tender. I try to disturb them as little as possible so the skins don't come up. Drain and leave to cool.
Fry or grill the sausages and whilst they're cooking heat some olive oil (extra virgin is wasted when cooking) and chuck in the two cloves of garlic, skinned and smashed. Give these 30 seconds to flavour the oil then add the beans and fry over a medium heat until nicely golden, this will take a few minutes. Season the beans well with salt.
Serve the butifarra with the mongetes and, if you want, the aioli or garlic mayonnaise.