Patatas Bravas and Garlic Mayonnaise

The quandry is that I have lots of teeny tiny potatoes that I dug up from my TPS (True Poato Seed), and I’ve been trying to decide how best to cook them. And for some inexplicable reason I hit on Patatas Bravas.

Having searched my own books I couldn’t find a recipe, so online I go. And it is here that I discover a great article in the Guardian and their Word of Mouth Blog on how to cook the perfect Patats Bravas. Like the writer of the article I rarely order them as part of a Tapas meal, the gloopy over-sweet tomato sauce and unintersteing fried potatoes just don’t do it for me. Nor had I realised that Patats Bravas appear to be more of an Anglo-American invention.

In the Guardian blog they refer to José Andès, and how he makes a tomato sauce, puts the fried potatoes on top and then adds some garlic aoli. As a few of you will have gathered by now I love garlic, so how could I not try this as well! Which is a bit of a challenge as I’ve never made fresh mayonnaise (aoli). Andrès’ “modern allioli” is made by beating together olive oil, garlic, sherry vinegar and a whole egg using a hand blender. ”

How could I resist?

Patats Bravas ~

As per normal I ended up playing around with the quantities and flavours! Serves 4 hungry people

  • 500g waxy potatoes – I used my TPS, but any good roasting poatoes will do.
  • Olive oil for roasting
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes or a dozen fresh tomatoes chopped.
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

Method ~

  • Preheat the oven to 200C. Cut the potatoes into rough 2cm chunks. Put a roasting tray with 2 tbsp olive oil into the oven and leave to heat for 5 minutes, then take out, toss the potatoes in the hot oil, and bake for about 45 minutes until 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 5 minutes until golden and soft.
  • Put in the chilli, and cook for another couple of minutes,
  • Add the tomatoes, sugar, 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.
  • Take off the heat, add 1 tbsp sherry vinegar, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. I added another 1/4 tsp of paprika at this stage.

Garlic Aoli ~

  • Put the egg, a clove of chopped garlic and a tablespoon of vinegar (I didn’t have Sherry Vinegar so white wine vinegar was substituted) into a mixing bowl along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • I mixed, and I mixed with a hand blender.
  • And then I started to add more olive oil, gently and slowly, a bit at a time while the beater was still going.
  • Taste for seasoning, I added a pinch of rock salt.
  • And then I mixed, and I mixed and I beat and I beat. And after a loooong time the mixture came together.
  • A beautiful deep yellow, creamy, thick mayonnaise.

Cooking Note ~ I found that if I placed a tea-towel under the mixing bowl, and angled the bowl towards me, and kind of wedged it a bit, I could pour the oil and mix at the same time.

I’m hooked!

To Serve ~

  • Take the potatoes out of the oven and sprinkle with a little salt. Spread the tomato sauce on to the plates, put the potatoes on top, then add a dollop of allioli and a sprinkle of chives, and serve immediately.


Gardening notes ~

I used the TPS Howie Mandel that I grew from Tom Wagner.


Question ~ how many ways can you spell Aoli / Allioli ?


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