Red Kidney Beans Basque Style

The red kidney beans from Tolosa are famous all over Spain, they are one of the main ingredients of the classical Basque cuisine.

As it will be dificult for you to find our traditional ingredients in your country, here I will try to adapt the recipe.

At the end of the recipe we propose you some alternatives for ingredients that might be most difficult for you to find in your country.


1 kg. dry red kidney beans
2 Kg. veal shank
4 morcillas
2 pc. chorizo
1/2 kg. rack of pork
2 garlic cloves
2 carrots
2 turnips
2 leeks
1 green italian pepper
1 onion
plenty water


The prior night you will have to leve the dried beans covered with plenty water. The next day, put in a cooking pot (you will need a big one): the drained beans, the meats (excepting the morcilla), salt to taste and the vegetables (excepting the onion and the green pepper). Let it cook at low heat. You will need 2 or 3 hours, depending on the quality of water, the kind of pot, the heat… Although you may be tempted to use a pressure cooker, I wouldn`t recommend it, as it will burst the beans.

Stir from time to time to avoid it to stick and burn. Check also from time to time if more water it’s needed. The final consitency should be like a creamy soup rather than a watery soup. The beans should be soft and creamy.

As soon as the beans reach this consistency, check the salt and add more if necessary, take out the leeks , mash them well , add this purée to the beans, mix well and add the morcilla. Let it all cook softly a few minutes. Meanwhile, chop finely the onion and the green pepper, stir-fry it and add to the pot. Mix it softly.

We serve it usually with the meats , including the chorizo and morcilla, cut into pieces on a separate tray, the vegetables also. Traitionally it is served with cooked and lightly fried white cabbage, but a green salad will do aswell. We eat it with some guindillas (do not exceed) as a contrast.


Morcilla alternatives: black pudding, blood sausage (UK), boudin (FR), Blutwurst (DE), morcela (PT), sanguinaccio (IT)

Chorizo: it’s a spicy sausage, but you possibly will find good chorizos in Spanish foodstores. Alternatives: Paprikawurst (DE), chouriço (PT)

Guindilla: hot pickled green chilli pepper

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