‘Patatas Bravas’ is one of the most common Spanish tapas. You can find it in every region of Spain – and they are fried most of the time, because that’s how they are originally cooked. But during our last visit to Barcelona last year, I stumbled on a roasted version, and I realized that I prefer my ‘Patatas Bravas’ roasted. 🙂
I’ve always wondered why it’s called ‘Patatas Bravas’. Some said it’s because you must eat them while they’re still hot. While others say it’s because the sauce that goes with it is spicy, i.e. ‘fierce’ or ‘angry’, which is what ‘bravas’ mean in English. I tell you one thing though, the first time I tried it and I was told that the sauce is spicy, I went ‘Nah, I’m Asian, I’m used to spicy food’. HA! I literally felt the roof of my mouth going numb. Still, it was a good kind of numb (if there is such a thing 😉 )
I strongly suggest using waxy potatoes for ‘Patatas Bravas’, not the starchy ones that’s best suited for mashed potato. The waxy types tend to hold their shape and texture better, even after boiling and roasting, compared to the starchy ones.
As for the sauce, you can pretty much play around with the amount of spices that’s in it. Taste and adjust it accordingly to your taste. Better yet, when you try this recipe, go easy on the spices; just use mine as a guide. (Remember, I LIKE spicy food 🙂 )
Oh! Lastly, I always serve it with aioli as well. Oftentimes, I would mix the spicy sauce with a bit of the aioli. It does tone down the spiciness, but not that much. The creaminess of the aioli provides some relief from the spice – that’s a better way of describing it. 🙂
- 500 grams potatoes, peeled (about 3 to 4 medium-sized potatoes)
- 1 & 1/2 tsp salt, (1 tsp for boiling & 1/2 tsp for roasting)
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp & 2 tsp olive oil, (to be used separately)
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 can tomato sauce
- 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- salt and pepper to season
Put whole peeled potatoes in a medium-sized pan. Pour enough cold water to submerge the potatoes. Add 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are a bit soft (BUT not completely cooked since you still need to put the potatoes in the oven).
Remove potatoes from the pan and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 220-degrees C (450-degrees F).
Slice potatoes into cubes. Try to keep the slices in the same size, this helps in cooking them at the same time (and avoiding burning small bits).
In a bowl, combine potatoes, 1 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp of salt, ¼ tsp of pepper and mix to ensure that each slice of potato is coated. Transfer potatoes in a baking sheet. Make sure that the potatoes are not touching each other.
Cook in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Turn the potatoes and cook again for another 10 minutes.
While you are roasting the potatoes, you can make the sauce. In a small pan, pour 2 tsp of olive oil and once ready, cook garlic and onion until soft. Add tomato sauce and the spices. Cover and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust seasoning (including salt and pepper) if desired. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Put the cooled sauce in a blender and blitz. If the sauce is a bit too grainy or clumpy, use a strainer to get a smoother sauce. This is now ready for serving.
Take the potatoes out of the oven and pour a bit of the sauce on top of the potatoes to serve.