Never have potatoes been so sublime; there was a fight for every single morsel. Part of the trick is to get the right potato and we used the classic Irish Rooster to great effect. You will have too much tomato sauce which you can put in the fridge or freezer to make patatas bravas again another night; we did just that and ate Patatas Bravas three times during the week!
Wine Suggestion: This dish is perfect for a nutty Amontillado sherry and make sure it is dry as the commercial “medium” sherries just won’t do! A classic Tapas & Sherry match which we wholeheartedly endorse. Yum!
Patatas Bravas – serves 8-10 as a tapas
- 1.5kg peeled floury potatoes
- 180ml olive oil, for shallow frying
FOR THE SALSA BRAVA:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp smoked hot Spanish paprika (pimentón picante), plus a bit extra
- ½ tsp crushed dried chilli flakes
- ½ tsp Tabasco sauce
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 125ml tomato sauce (see below)
- 125ml olive oil
- 225g onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- 150ml water
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp sugar
First make the tomato sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a wide shallow pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 15 minutes until soft and very lightly coloured.
Add the tomatoes, water and bay leaves, salt and sugar, then bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer very gently, uncovered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally – you are aiming for almost a purée consistency.
Leave to cool a bit then remove the bay leaves and blend in a food processor until smooth.
Next make the salsa brava:
Heat the olive oil over a low heat, then add the pimentón, chilli flakes, Tabasco and vinegar and mix together well. Stir in the tomato sauce and adjust the seasoning to taste. Thin with up to 3 tbsp of water if the salsa is too thick.
Now fry the potatoes:
Cut the potatoes into small even-sized chunks and cook in a large pan of well-salted water for 6-7 minutes or until just tender, then drain well.
Heat the olive oil in two large non-stick frying pans, divide the potatoes between them and shallow-fry in a single layer for 10-12 minutes, turning regularly, until crisp and golden.
Spoon the potatoes onto warmed plates, drizzle over the sauce, sprinkle with the pimentón and serve with cocktail sticks and napkins.
(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Spain, BBC Books, 2011.)