Patatas Bravas will have you planning your next trip to Spain
We ate patatas bravas for the first time in Barcelona. It was in a little restaurant in Poblenou called El 58. We didn’t know what to expect, we just liked the name “The Brave Potatoes”. We were instantly hooked by the crunchy happiness of the potatoes, the spicy tomato sauce, and the creamy drizzle of garlicky aioli. It’s a dish to share, usually served with toothpicks to select one potato at a time. It’s a tradition for us, to go out with friends and order the Patatas Bravas; to sit and chat over the hot potatoes, and talk for hours about life. If there was a dish for me that encapsulates the first few months of our move to Spain, this would be the dish.
We’re even on a Patatas Bravas mission to find the best Patatas Bravas ever. If it’s on the menu it gets ordered. So far we’ve had some amazing ones, and some truly bad ones (why use mayonnaise when you can use aioli?). If you’re in Barcelona I highly recommend Gula Bar, Marcelino’s, and El 58 for amazing food experiences.
After sampling so many we became determined to make our own, but obviously with a twist. This recipe is dedicated to wandering down the streets of Barcelona, a new city full of new experiences, sensations, and flavours. Here’s to food soothing the nerves when you begin life-changing journeys. Patatas Bravas will always be comfort food to us.
570ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ red onion, diced finely
1 clove of garlic, roasted
1 large egg
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tomato, halved, roasted
1 chilli, roasted
4 large potatoes
Flat leaf parsley
Pinch of sugar
Ground salt & pepper
1 Roast the garlic, chilli, tomato.
2 Smash the garlic with 1 teaspoon of salt in a mortar and pestle. Place the mustard and egg in a bowl and whisk, slowly add the oil. Once ¼ of oil is added, add the oil at a faster pace. Once the mixture thickens and all oil is added, add some lemon juice to taste. Add the smashed garlic, season with salt and pepper.
3 Sauté the onion until it’s soft, add roasted chili and smoked paprika and cook for 30 seconds. Allow it to cool.
4 Combine the onion mixture, aolli, tomato, and a pinch of sugar into a food processor. Process until smooth. Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
5 Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Boil the potatoes whole lightly, remove from pot, allow to cool, peel and cut into 1cm squares. Place cut potato into a bowl and season with salt.
6 In a pan, heat 2 inches olive oil until it begins to shimmer. Add potatoes to the pan and cook until they turn golden. Remove the potatoes from the pan, and place them onto a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess oil.
7 Layer the potatoes evenly on a baking tray and bake until crisp, approximately 10 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer potatoes to a platter and drizzle aolli mixture over the top (keep the left over sauce for later!). Garnish with parsley.
8 Serve hot.