Two of my favourite tapas that I make at home are tortilla and patatas bravas. The latter is often not done properly in some of the more touristy areas, where it can just be virtually chips with mayonnaise and a spicy ketchup.
This may be ok, but it ain’t patatas bravas, amigo!
Here is a very good version that produces a fairly authentic taste. To make the perfect patatas bravas, I roast the potatoes instead of frying them, which gives a less greasy, but equally crisp result (and is also considerably easier in most kitchens).
The creamy, unashamedly garlicky alioli-style sauce completes the dish perfectly – the Spanish equivalent of many students kebab van favourite, chips with ketchup and garlic sauce! Paired with a chilled Spanish beer, this is is just one of those unbeatable late night snacks.Can be a side dish, a tapa or an accompaniment. Whatever rocks your socks.
500g waxy potatoes
300ml olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 red chillis, finely chopped
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
Preheat the oven to 200C. Peel the potatoes and cut into rough 2cm chunks. Put a roasting tray with 2 tbsp olive oil into the oven and leave to heat for 5 minutes, then take out, toss the potatoes in the hot oil, and bake for about 45 minutes until crisp and golden.
Meanwhile, make the sauces. Put 2 tbsp oil into a heavy-bottomed pan on a medium heat, and
cook the onion for about seven minutes until golden and soft. Add the chilli, and cook for another couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes, sugar, salt and smoked paprika and stir well.
Bring to the boil, and then turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until thick and dark. Take off the heat, add 1 tbsp sherry vinegar, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
To make the alioli, put the egg in the small bowl of a food processor along with the garlic and 1tbsp sherry vinegar. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and whizz until incorporated, then drizzle in the rest of the olive oil with the motor running, until you have creamy mayonnaise-style sauce.
Season to taste. (You can also use a hand blender, but it’s harder to drizzle and beat at the same time.) Take the potatoes out of the oven and sprinkle with a little salt.
Spread the tomato sauce on to the plates, put the potatoes on top, then serve with a small bowl of alioli on the side and serve immediately.
The whole point of these is the ‘bravas’ part. If it ain’t a heat challenge then there is no bravado! Be bloody, bold and resolute!
Tonight I served mine with some meanly pan fried belly pork – the flavours were fixatingly stunning.