Patatas Bravas – Sauteed Potatoes

I just love patatas bravas and must say that this dish is usually are top on my list when ordering Tapas. Served all over Spain going down well with a chilled vino or a cervesa. The tomato sauce can vary from region to region, can be served with extra topping of chorizo, chistorra, baked chicken or fried fish.

Traditionally made with the Spanish white potatotes which are par boiled and then fried in olive oil until crispy then served with the spicy tomato sauce on top. This is also one of the spiciest dishes you will find in the Tapas bar!

Serves 6 tapas portions:


For the salsa brava

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 400g/14oz skinned, chopped tomatoes (you can use tinned)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp crushed dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp of dulce pimentón (use hot if you want it spicier)
  • 150ml of water
  • 1 tsp of sherry or red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

For the potatoes

  • 1.5kg White Spanish potatoes if you can get them, if not then a floury or mealy potato that you would use for mash, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
  • Olive oil for frying

Preparation method:

For the salsa brava, heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for about 15 minutes or until soft and golden-brown. Add the tomatoes, water, salt and sugar, bring to the boil, lower the heat and leave to simmer very gently, uncovered, stirring now and then, for 45 minutes to one hour until it has almost reduced to a purée. Leave to cool slightly then pour into a food processor and whizz it up until fairly smooth.

Cut the potatoes into 2 cm chunks, drop into a large pan of well-salted water and cook for 6-7 minutes, or until just tender as you don’t want them falling apart. Drain well.

Heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick frying pans, divide the potatoes into 2 batches and shallow-fry in a single layer for 10–12 minutes, turning them regularly, until crisp, golden-brown all over and sandy in texture. I do two batches as I don’t want to overcrowd the pan as they fry better the less there are.

Spoon the potatoes into one large or small individual serving plates, drizzle over the salsa brava sauce, sprinkle with a pinch of pimentón and serve with some toothpicks and napkins.