Patatas Bravas

I guess it depends on where you had your first tapas on holiday in Spain, as to how you like you Patatas Bravas but it seems I must have been it a different Tapas Bar to everyone else. I remember quite dry, spicy, crispy fried potatoes. What I don’t remember is what every recipe I can find, interpretation, which is fried potatoes, covered in chunky tomato sauce. Anyway, to set the record straight, here is my version. Your first Patats Bravas may also not have been drizzled in Allioli either but once you have tried it this way, there is no turning back.

Patatas Bravas

Serves 4

1Kg waxy potatoes

Spanish olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

400g tin chopped tomatoes

½ tsp sea salt

1 tsp smoked paprika

Allioli to Drizzle on Top

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

1 egg yolk

1 clove garlic, crushed

Light olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200C. Peel the potatoes and cut into rough 2cm chunks. Put a roasting tray into the oven and leave to heat for 5 minutes. Toss the potatoes in plenty of olive oil and tip into the hot roasting tray. Bake for about 45 minutes, turning regularly to ensure they are evenly 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. Put in the chilli, and cook for another couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes, 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. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. It should be pretty spicy. Liquidise (or hand-blend) your sauce until smooth.

To make the Allioli, put the egg yolk in the small bowl of a food processor  along with the garlic and 1tbsp sherry vinegar (or use a hand-blender). 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 with salt to taste.

Take the potatoes out of the oven and mix through some tomato sauce. You may not need all of it. The potatoes should be just coated. Return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes. To serve, drizzle with plenty of Allioli. Serve hot.

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