Spicy Spanish Potatoes
Patatas Bravas involves fried potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce and it is one of my all time favourites. There are bars in Madrid that specialize in Bravas sauce be it on potatoes, Spanish omelette or even on calamares! There are many different recipes for Patatas Bravas but I like to make them in a similar way to the ones that you get in bars in Madrid which is where I first experienced them. In fact when I first arrived in Spain that was just about all I ate in the bars because it was the only thing I knew how to say in Spanish!
Generally when I make Bravas I usually peel the potatoes but on one occasion I decided to use small new potatoes and to leave the skins on. They tasted great but I think it is better to peel them as they turn a nicer golden colour.
Also don’t worry about peeling or seeding the tomatoes as they will be passed through a sieve at the end of cooking which removes all the unwanted parts.
Serves approximately 6 tapas portions
- 1½kg of peeled potatoes
- Olive oil to fry the potatoes in
For the bravas sauce:
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic also finely chopped
- 6 ripe tomatoes chopped – about 600g
- 1 teaspoon of sugar (optional)
- 3 dried chillis
- 1 or 2 teaspoon of hot paprika – depends on how spicy you like your food
- 1 level soup spoon of plain flour
- approx. 200ml of water
- 1 teaspoon of sherry vinegar or wine vinegar
- freshly ground black pepper
Peel the potatoes, chop them into smallish chunks and boil them for about 5-10 minutes in salt water. Then leave them to cool.
For the bravas sauce fry the onion, garlic and the dried chillis gently in some olive oil until the onions turn transparent – this should take about 10 minutes. Then remove from the heat, add the paprika and stir this in. Add the chopped tomatoes and the sugar, return the mix to the heat and simmer gently for about 5 minutes. The sugar is added to take any bitterness out of the tomatoes – this is optional as, like Gerry, you may find it too sweet with the sugar.
Mix the flour with some water and then stir this into the sauce, add the 200 ml of water and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes to reduce the sauce.
Now you should blend the mix either in a food blender or using a hand held blender. Once you’ve done this pass the mix through a sieve to remove the tomato skin and seeds. You should then end up with a nice thick bravas sauce.
You may want to cut your potatoes a bit smaller into bite sized chunks if you left them a bit big when boiling. You can either deep fry them as I do or shallow fry them until they turn a lovely golden colour.
Serve them on a couple of plates with plenty of the bravas sauce on them. The sauce is probably better hot but it can also be served cold.
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