This is the story of a few humble potatoes that one day, a long time ago, partnered with a simple spicy sauce to hit the podiums of fame and become one of the most famous Spanish tapas.
True story. The patatas bravas are an extremely simple recipe based on some few basic ingredients only. At least on paper, it’s an easy recipe to crack, even for the inexperienced home cook…
Yet so often, it’s easy to get disappointed when ordering bravas at a bar. Either the potatoes are too soggy, or simply uncooked, or they are served with ketchup instead of brava sauce… the list of culinary abuses goes on and on.
So what’s the reason? How can such a simple recipe go wrong so often? I’d say that like with most other basic recipes, it’s all on how much love you put in the details. Either you invest some care when following some of the basic rules and then get it perfect or it can rapidly become a non-edible chewy nightmare.
But fear no! We’ve got a recipe that we’re confident is easy enough to follow and it will return great results. Of course, this is our recipe. That means we like our patatas bravas served with plenty of brava sauce and alioli. So if you rather having them somehow else, just tune the amounts and adapt it to your taste. Easy!
Give it a go for a taste of some real patatas bravas and as always, let us know how you like them!
• Click here to buy hot pimenton for your salsa brava.
- For the potatoes:
- 1 kg Potatoes – any variety with dense flesh, such as white or russet potatoes.
- 1 l Extra virgin olive oil
- For the brava sauce:
- 500 g Chopped tomatoes
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne flakes
- 1 tbsp Hot pimenton
- 1 sprig Fresh rosemary
- 4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp Sugar
- For the alioli:
- 1 Egg
- 250 ml Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 tsp Salt
- Peel the garlic cloves. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry them whole until brown.
- Add the cayenne in and stir quickly to avoid burning the flakes.
- Add the tomato, the pimenton and the sprig of rosemary. Cook under a medium heat for around 10 minutes, stirring every now and then so that the sauce doesn’t stick to the pan.
- Remove both the garlic and the rosemary.
- Blend with the stick blender until you achieve a smooth sauce. For an even finer result, strain it.
- Season to taste and reserve.
- Peel the garlic cloves and place them in a blender bowl together with the egg and the salt.
- Introduce the stick blender all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Mix well.
- Add the olive oil, little by little whilst you keep blending. You’ll slowly see how the sauce starts thickening until you achieve the texture of a mayonnaise.
- Wash the potatoes, peel them and cut them in 3cm dices.
- Place the potatoes in a pot with enough olive oil to cover them. Cook for around 10 minutes under a low to medium heat. The idea is to slow cook the interior of the potatoes without burning them.
- Increase the heat to its maximum and cook the potatoes until they start getting brown on the outside. Take them out of the pot and place them in a plate with a kitchen towel to absorb the oil excess. Season to taste.
- To finish the dish, you can either toss the potatoes with the brava sauce and then top with the aioli – once the brava sauce is cold or it will make the potatoes soggy – or you can directly place the potatoes in a plate and top with both the brava sauce and the aioli.
In Madrid, patatas bravas are usually eaten just with the brava sauce. No aioli. So if you want to go for the real Madrid way, follow this same recipe but ignore the aioli.