Patatas Bravas

D and I had a Spanish night earlier in this week.  He didn’t come to Madrid with me last weekend and I wanted to share some of the food ideas I had picked up.  In particular patatas bravas and clara.

The latter is a shandy made from light Spanish lager and cloudy lemonade rather than the standard clear lemonade – very simple but wonderfully refreshing.  The former dish is one of my favourite tapas – fried potatoes topped with a picante tomato sauce. 

Traditionally the potatoes in this dish are poached in olive oil before being fried over a high heat but I just couldn’t bring myself to use all that fat.  Instead, I blanched the unpeeled potatoes in water before roasting them with a mere brushing of oil.  It worked very well, I thought.  🙂


Note: The following recipe makes a lot of sauce.  We used half of it over two nights on potatoes and the rest was diluted with stock and cream to make a rather tasty soup.

Patatas Bravas (sauce adapted from Moro)

(Tapas for 4)

500g small, waxy potatoes – halved



Olive oil

1 onion, chopped finely

1 green pepper, chopped finely

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 tspn chilli flakes

Bay leaf

Glass of white wine

400g tin plum tomatoes

1 tspn sugar

1/2 tspn smoked paprika

Cayenne pepper (optional)

  • Parboil the potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes.  Drain and layout on baking tray.  Brush thoroughly with olive oil and sprinkly with salt and paprika.  Roast in a 200oC over for 30 minutes until crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce.  Fry the onion and pepper in a little olive oil until soft (medium heat).
  • Add the garlic, chilli flakes and bay and fry for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the wine.  Turn up the heat and reduce the liquid by half.
  • Add the tomatoes and sugar and mash down to a pulp.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Blend until smooth. 
  • Add seasoning and cayenne to taste.
  • Serve potatoes in a heated dish with the sauce spooned over the top.

21 thoughts on “Patatas Bravas

  1. Patatas Bravas are so good. Thanks for sharing a recipe. What a lovely way to share you experience of Madrid with D, going beyond the usual sharing of photographs!

  2. Oh I love patatas bravas! Your table looks beautiful all laid out with luscious Spanish grub – D is very lucky 🙂 The clara is new to me so thank you for bringing it to my attention, I will give that a go. It’s wonderful to hear how you were inspired by the memories of your holiday and wanted to re-create them too, which is why I always plan my holidays around food!

  3. Arundathi – Glad to be of help!

    Sylive – He was rather pleased with it too. 🙂

    David – Coincidence! Paella is one dish I didn’t have last weekend. Love it though.

    Helen – Eating is always a big part of my holidays too. It’s always fun to think about how I can make the dishes at home. 🙂

  4. Hi Wendy, Róisín is here, and her pic is up at my blog. She’s a sweetie and a character and a terror all in one tiny 10 pound package. I’m sure that you & others will wonder why I named a Welsh Springer an Irish name, and the reason is…. just because it seemed to suit her. 🙂

  5. Like the look of your recipe – your potatoes look nice and crispy – I have seen other recipes that chop the potatoes and bake them with the sauce – but I like the idea that you have the leftover sauce for other meals in this version!

  6. I adore patatas bravas (although am now slightly alarmed to learn that they are usually poached in oil prior to roasting – perhaps I’ll go a little easier on them next time!).

    I’m dying to know what other delicious bits made it to the table – I spy a tortilla and perhaps (my favourite) croquettas?

  7. Patatas bravas is not something I have tried before, but they look really tasty and would be a welcome change in this house. Glad you enjoyed your trip to Spain.

  8. Holler – Hee hee. “Mojo” makes me giggle. 🙂

    Kimj – She’s so beautiful! More pictures please!

    Pia – Garlic mushrooms are a favourite of mine too but D doesn’t “do” fungi. 😛

    Johanna – I haven’t seen a version like that. May try it out soon.

    Antonia – The spread consisted of patatas bravas, tortilla, marinated peppers, salad and griddled chorizo. No croquettas this time. They are gorgeous though. 🙂

    Angela – Thank you. 🙂 Hope you enjoy the patatas bravas if you try them. They are most definitely a welcome change to boiled, mashed etc.

  9. I was in Barcelona with my sister a few weeks ago and was served regularly as a tapa a “bomba,” a ball of potato stuffed with salty pork and covered in a picante cream sauce. I think this is a specialty of Barcelona, and I haven’t made it at home yet but I will. I’m having a hard time tracking anything down in English though, and will have to wing it, I think.

    Anyway, nice potatoes, with a healthier sauce than aioli.

  10. thanks wendy, spain is my favourite place to visit!

    i love the recipe and will try it next week whilst i am off

    I have never seen that clara drink before, did u make your own??

  11. Wheatless Bay – Sounds amazing. Will have to try and find a recipe for that too.

    Andrew – You’re very welcome. 🙂

    Megan – I did. It was just lager and cloudy lemonade. Very refreshing.

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  14. Thanks for your tapas recipes. I have been searching for them and had no luck till now. Looking for a recipe for la bomba. Had these when in Barcelona recently.

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