If you travel out of New York City on Amtrak these days, you’re likely to end up in the Moynihan Train Hall part of Penn Station. Taking over what was the Farley Post Office Building, it’s a beautiful, soaring structure meant to be reminiscent of the old Penn Station that was knocked down in favor of building Madison Square Garden, complete with glass ceilings. I’ve been able to see it a few times now with our trips to New York, and now that they are starting to populate it with stores and places to eat, I’m actually excited to go to the station as one last thing to do before we leave Manhattan.
The hall is named for the former New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan who championed the project and had a decidedly interesting career. Per José Andrés’s headnotes for the original recipe for this dish in Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America, Senator Moynihan would order this with a glass of white Rioja and eat at the bar of what I have to presume is Jaleo while waiting for the rest of his party. Eventually Andrés struck up a conversation with the Senator and they formed a friendship, and he ended up naming this dish after him too.
It’s a wonderfully simple dish: unpretentious and satisfying, and the main deviation I make with it is to cook the beans in a pressure cooker rather than the traditional soaking overnight and then simmering on the stovetop. This was partially due to necessity, as I had forgotten to soak my beans, but I ended up preferring this method because the pressure cooker does really good work here and it’s much more hands-off once it has come to pressure.
With so few ingredients at play here, obviously it’s a reason to get the best sausage you can get–I will walk over to our local butcher to buy some of their links, and it makes this dish that much better.
Catalan sausages with pressure cooker beans
Lightly adapted from Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America by José Andrés et al
- ¼ pound navy beans
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ white onion, peeledS
- 1 carrot, peeled
- 6 TB Spanish extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- 2 each sweet and hot pork sausages (¾-1 lb in total)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 TB finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Special equipment: electric pressure cooker
To make the beans, combine the dried beans, bay leaf, onion, carrot, and two tablespoons of olive oil along with two cups of water. Close and secure the lid and set the timer to 35 minutes and set the pressure level to high. When the cooker is finished, let the pressure release naturally before removing the lid and discarding the aromatics. Place in a bowl and set aside.
Heat three tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, and cook the sausages until they are brown and thoroughly cooked, about 8-10 minutes total. Set aside on a plate.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to that same saute pan and heat to medium-high. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, add the beans and cook for another two minutes, seasoning with kosher salt to taste.
To serve, spoon the beans into bowls and serve with the sausages on top, sprinkling with parsley and serve immediately.