Next to the shield bearing the Spanish flag should also appear a succulent plate of patatas bravas, without leaving anyone speechless. The so-called “bravas” comprise one of the most emblematic tapas rations of Spanishness and therefore should be the subject of conscientious study in the curricula of Spain. But since it is not, with all the seriousness that the case requires, we will teach you right now how to make patatas bravas.
Its physiognomy: fried potatoes cut in medium size so that each bite fits perfectly to the palate of the diner, very Spanish style, because in a sovereign way they resist to copy the ultra-expanded fried potato sticks.
Their soul: a generous bath of salsa brava, magical, juicy red-orange shades that could be compared to the Iberian blood itself and that, if it were not for it, Spanish potato portions would not be more than just another potato served anywhere in the world.
Patatas bravas recipe
- 6 medium potatoes.
- Plenty of virgin olive oil.
- 1L of water.
- Salt to taste.
- Salsa brava (obvious, hehehe).
Take the previously washed potatoes and peel them completely, then cut them into squares measuring three to four centimeters each. Don’t worry about the geometry of each potato, they are not perfectly cut cubes but rather squares without much uniformity. They are not potatoes that have been well cut, they are potatoes with a rage 😛.
Next, pour them into a saucepan containing the liter of water and let them boil for five minutes. The aim is to extract the starch from the potatoes and soften them just a little, leaving them al dente, but never cook them completely, as they will be cooked when you fry them.
After five minutes remove them from the hot water and soak them for a few seconds under cold tap water to stop the cooking. Drain them and let them cool enough so that you don’t set off an atomic bomb when you throw them into the hot oil. We all know what happens when we mistakenly drop water on high temperature oil, right? Ok.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, make it so much oil that the potatoes are well soaked and get heat on all sides. Soak them in the oil over medium heat for five minutes to finish cooking and softening, then leave them for two more minutes over low heat to brown just a bit. Shake them one by one so that they fry well in the oil. Parenthesis: if you have a deep fryer, oh là là, you are God and you have it more than easy, almost automatic.
After the indicated minutes have elapsed, your potatoes start to brown a little? Good. Take them out, drain them and place them on absorbent paper towels so they lose the excess oil. Don’t forget to salt them while they are still hot, always after frying, never before, as the salt will trigger a chemical process that will interfere with the starch release of the raw potatoes 😉
Now… tararááán! The best part of all: sensually bathing them in spicy salsa that you’ll already have ready after following our step-by-step recipe on how to make salsa brava. Drizzle them, yes, but also serve them with a dip that will be the delight of those who share with you these potatoes with guaranteed success.
Fun ideas for your patatas bravas
One way to give a rustic effect to this dish is to skip the step of peeling the potatoes and fry them in their skins. They are robust and go well with baked dishes. Another idea is to sprinkle them with a light shower of oregano or a light shower of fresh parsley, before and after sprinkling them with the salsa brava.
There are also those who add to the patatas bravas a little alioli sauce or a little cabrales sauce, and of course, there are those who put all three, thus achieving a mixture of flavors that make the taste buds rave.
Speaking of tapas with potatoes and how infinite Iberian food is in general, have you ever prepared your own huevos rotos? And, tell us, how much of this essential list of 100 Spanish food dishes you should try before you die?