Saturday, 28 June 2014

Patatas Bravas

I love patatas bravas - a Spanish potato dish often served as part of a tapas menu in Spanish bars and restaurants. The dish usually contains potatoes in a tomato based sauce and is regularly served with aioli, a garlic flavoured mayonnaise-like sauce. Some recipes for patatas bravas use a mild tomato sauce alone, but I like the slight heat that the added chilli gives. This is enhanced by the faint background taste of rosemary, but you could use a little thyme instead if you prefer.

This is a perfect dish for serving on a warm summer’s day as part of a range of buffet type dishes, where people can help themselves as they relax in the sun.


1kg waxy potatoes, peeled and chopped into 3cm chunks
50ml olive oil
Sea salt
2tblsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped, 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp sugar
1½ tsp smoked paprika
A sprig of Rosemary
25ml sherry vinegar (I used Pedro Ximenes sherry)
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
To serve:
A large handful of finely chopped, fresh flat leaf parsley


1. Preheat oven to 200C/Fan Oven 180C/Gas Mark 6.
2. Heat the olive oil in a small roasting pan in the oven until hot. Remove from the oven and then add the potatoes, tossing them to make sure that they are evenly coated. Season the potatoes with sea salt and return to the oven for approximately 45 minutes. Check the potatoes after 20 minutes, turning them so that they roast evenly. While the potatoes are roasting you can make the sauce.
3. Put the oil in a medium sized, heavy based saucepan and heat over a moderate heat. Add the onions and fry stirring regularly until they are golden brown (about 6-8 minutes).
4. Add the finely chopped chilli and garlic and fry for a further minute.
5. Add all the other ingredients other than the sherry vinegar and season well. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat so that the sauce is merely blipping away. Cook for about 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly. Add in the vinegar and allow to cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
6. Remove from the heat. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Remove the sprig of rosemary and discard.
To serve:
7. Spoon the sauce into a serving dish and pile the roasted potatoes on top. Sprinkle over the chopped parsley and serve.

Serves 4-6.