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Cuban papas bravas recipe

Cuban papas bravas recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Vegetable
  • Root vegetables
  • Potato
  • Potato side dishes

A Cuban take on this spicy potato side dish, perfect with breakfast eggs.

Bedfordshire, England, UK

1 person made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 4 bacon rashers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 green pepper, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 medium potatoes, sliced thin (about 3 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon Goya Sazon with Habanero
  • 1 roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • sliced green onion for topping (optional)
  • Salsa Aji Native Hot Sauce or other chili sauce to taste

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:55min

  1. Sauté the bacon on low-medium heat in a large covered sauté pan until the fat is rendered. Add olive oil, onion and green pepper and continue sautéing until the onions soften.
  2. Add garlic and potatoes and mix well.
  3. Sprinkle on the Goya spice, cover and cook at medium heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Add roasted red pepper and capers and let simmer. The dish is done when the potatoes are fork tender, approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Serve topped with green onion and chilli sauce.

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Spanish Patatas Bravas Recipe (Spanish Fried Potatoes with Spicy Sauce)

This article may be sponsored or include a provided product or affiliate link. See the footer and Affiliate Disclaimer for full details.

One of the most common Spanish tapas, patatas bravas, are simple-to-make, relatively cheap, and taste like heaven. Best of all, you can easily add any spice or herb to your taste, as most Spanish recipes can be modified completely.

Today, we&rsquoll share our version of the patatas bravas recipe that you&rsquore guaranteed to devour again and again.

Fried potatoes are one of those meals that aren&rsquot tangled by cultural boundaries and national borders. This recipe has its own variation in every cuisine across the world, from the Indian fried potatoes to American hash browns and the Dutch and Belgian frietjes.

This ideal combination of perfectly baked potatoes with a smoky, spicy bravas sauce is enough to awaken your taste buds. Patatas bravas are sold in almost every bar in Spain and are an exotic meal to share among your friends, family, or even colleagues from your workplace.

How to Make Patatas Bravas – Step by Step Instructions

To make this papas bravas recipe, you can check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for exact measurements.

For those wanting to see a visual of the steps, you can find the recipe process photos in this section.

This way, if you have any questions you can follow along with how we made our Patatas bravas and can compare how you are doing!

First, pre-boil the potatoes with their skin on in a pot of hot water on the stove until almost tender but not quite done.

You should be able to pierce them with a fork but it shouldn’t slide through the potato with ease.

Remove the potatoes from the pot and set them aside to cool.

In the meantime, prepare the bravas sauce. First, peel the onion and finely chop it. Also, peel the garlic clove and chop it or press it through a garlic press.

In a medium-sized frying pan, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil.

When the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté them on medium-high heat for around 5-6 minutes until translucent.

Add the crushed garlic and sauté for a couple more minutes. Be sure not to burn the garlic or else it will become bitter.

Turn down the heat to low and add the smoked paprika as well as the hot paprika (or red pepper flakes) and mix well using a wooden spoon.

You can adjust the amount of hot paprika used according to your spice tolerance. Two tablespoons give it a kick, but it’s not intolerable.

After the paprika has been mixed in, add the flour and mix it in well so that there are no flour lumps.

Let everything sit in the hot pan for a minute (so the flour can lose its “flour taste”).

Then little by little add the broth while constantly stirring with your wooden spoon. Keep stirring until the sauce has a well-combined consistency.

Turn up the heat again slightly and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add salt to taste.

Let the sauce simmer for around 4-5 minutes until it has thickened nicely. Stir regularly.

Once the sauce has a thick, creamy consistency, remove the pan from heat and let it cool for a few minutes.

Then blend the sauce in a blender so it’s smooth.

Back to the potatoes. First peel them, then cut them into bite-sized cubes.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large frying pan.

When it is hot enough (test this by dipping a wooden spoon into the oil – if there are small bubbles forming around it, the oil is hot enough), add approximately half of the potato cubes.

Depending on the size of your pan you might be able to add more or less – just don’t overcrowd the pan.

Fry the potato cubes on medium heat until they are fully cooked and lightly golden brown on the outside.

Flip the potato pieces regularly. Don’t have the temperature too high – you don’t want the outsides to become very dark while the inside is not fully cooked.

Once the potatoes are done, remove them from the pan with a straining spoon and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil.

Then fry the second batch of potatoes the same way.

Our Patatas bravas with a little chopped parsley and loads of sauce!

Add salt to taste, then serve the patatas bravas in a bowl and garnish with some of the bravas sauce as well as some chopped parsley.

If you want to cut the spice of the sauce a bit, you can also serve aioli (garlic mayo) in addition – or even instead – of the bravas sauce.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red chile, minced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 (14 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

Combine potatoes, 2 cups olive oil, and 3 teaspoons salt in a large cold skillet. Heat on low and cook until potatoes are softened, 12 to 15 minutes. Increase heat to high and fry until golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir onion with 1 teaspoon salt in the hot oil until onion has softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic, chile, and smoked paprika simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and return to a simmer. Transfer tomato mixture to a blender, cover, and puree until tomato sauce is smooth.

Serve patatas bravas with tomato puree and and mayonnaise for dipping.

Patatas Bravas Recipe | Cook the Book

I thought I'd begin our week of tapas from The Book of Tapas by Simone and Inés Ortega with one of the most well-known and loved tapas dishes around, Patatas Bravas. Preparation of patatas bravas varies widely—some versions are fried while other are boiled, sauces are tomato or vinegar-based, and sometimes the patatas are topped with chorizo, chicken, or fish. A garlicky aioli usually finds its way into the mix, either on the side or drizzled on top.

This recipe is closest to a Catalonian or Valencian version, with boiled waxy potatoes tossed in a vinegar and oil-based sauce with paprika, garlic, and either chili powder or Worcestershire sauce. I used all three for a sauce that was smoky, slightly spicy and had a slight richness from the Worcestershire. These patatas are wonderful on their own and pair perfectly with a cold beer or a glass of white wine but if you have an extra few minutes to whip up a batch of aioli it certainly wouldn't hurt.

Spiced Papas Bravas with Avocado Crema

3 pounds Kennebec potatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream
1 avocado
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
4 jalapenos, thinly sliced
1 cup all-purpose flour
Oil for deep frying
Spice Mix (see below)
6 cilantro sprigs as a garnish
Lime wedges
Maldon salt as a garnish

1 ½ teaspoons toasted and ground cumin
1/2 teaspoons chile arbol
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest

In a bowl, mix together the cumin, chile arbol, salt and lime zest. Set aside


Place the potatoes in a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil and 2 tablespoons water. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast until tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Let them cool. Remove from the oven and cut into rough 1 ½-inch chunks.

In the meantime, in a bowl or a blender, mix or whisk together the sour cream, avocado, garlic and lime juice. Season with salt. Set aside.

In the meantime, toss the jalapeno slices in flour, salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a deep heavy saucepan. Fry the potatoes until they are almost done, golden and crispy. Add the jalapenos for the last one minute until the jalapenos and jalapenos are golden brown and crispy.

Remove and drain well. Toss with the Spice Mix. Place in a bowl, sprinkle with maldon salt and garnish with cilantro sprigs and lemon wedges. Serve with a bowl of Avocado Crema for dipping.

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Patatas Bravas

There is nothing more Spanish than tapas and the most authentic of all, the one I am featuring today today, is patatas bravas.

How to prepare patatas bravas?

Patatas bravas, also known as papas bravas or patatas a la brava, consist of white potatoes, cut into cubes of about 1 inch, which are fried in extra-virgin olive oil with a few garlic cloves and a spicy sauce called “salsa brava”. This sauce is then poured on the hot fried potatoes.

Everyone has their favorite patatas bravas recipe, one that is undoubtedly the best, most “authentic” recipe and of course, in Spain, no two recipes are alike. In short, each city has its own recipe and claims that it is the most authentic and the best!

Related Posts:

Salsa brava

To be bravas, the patatas must be generously accompanied by a sauce that makes them “brave”. In fact, the name patatas bravas comes from the spiciness that prevails and you have to be brave to eat them. This spiciness comes from the hot pepper, one of the essential ingredients of this sauce.

This is where things get complicated because depending on where you are in Spain, the recipe for the patatas bravas sauce will change: the sauce will be more or less spicy, the main ingredients may be different or it will be more or less liquid.

The ingredients of this sauce are often subject to controversy. They differ essentially in two aspects:

There are those who are adamant about including tomatoes and those who think that there should not be any and that the color is only due to the paprika and hot pepper.

In Madrid, where this recipe was probably created, the bravas sauce consists mainly of tomato and hot pepper. In Catalonia and in the Valencian Community, it is prepared with garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, hot pepper and paprika. In Andalucia, patatas are usually accompanied by ali-oli (aioli), an emulsion of olive oil and garlic.

Sometimes, mayonnaise is added on the potatoes or on the side to make the sauce less spicy.

Whatever the recipe, however, since 2008, patatas bravas are one of the many traditional Spanish dishes in the official list established by the United Nations.

What is the origin of patatas bravas?

The origin of this dish is not very clear. Some attribute it to Casa Pellico others say it was served for the first time at the Hotel Casona. Both are famous bars in Madrid.

These two bars have now disappeared but, what is certain is that it was around 1960 and that until today, people still talk about the legendary lines around these two bars, just to taste the patatas bravas. And these lines are a testimony and are not a legend!

The first written traces of the term “patatas bravas” date from 1967, when the journalist Luis Carandell wrote about them in his book, Vivir en Madrid (living in Madrid):

“las patatas bravas, que en algunos sitios se llaman ‘patatas a lo pobre’, son patatas fritas con salsa picante, como uno se imagina que los pobres comerían las patatas, es decir, untando pan en la salsa”

Translation :
“Patatas bravas, which in some places are called ‘patatas a lo pobre’ (potatoes of the poor) are fried potatoes with a spicy sauce, because one imagines that the poor ate the potatoes, that is to say to say smear the bread in the sauce”

Although there is no trace of the term “bravas” in the past, it would seem that a similar dish was eaten in Madrid by the lower classes at least in the fourteenth century, or even earlier.

Ángel Muro Giori, a Spanish writer and gourmet, refers to certain dishes in 1893 saying: “… cualquier salsa, cualquier aliño, conocidos o por conocer, convienen a las patatas, […] incluso con sebo y con azafrán, que es como las gastan los pobres de Madrid)” which can be translated to… “any sauce, any seasoning, that is known, is suitable for potatoes, […] even with lard and saffron, as spend it on the poor of Madrid “.

By these words, it is assumed that the popular classes were already eating dishes with potatoes and seasoning similar to what we know today as “bravas” and that the bottom of their plates tended to be spicy.

And here are today’s patatas bravas that have become one of the most typical tapas in Spain.

What are tapas?

If you think of something typically Spanish, what comes to your mind? Bullfighting ? Andalusia? Paella ? Flamenco ? Sangria? Tortilla? In fact, there are so many things that are reminiscent of Spain, but the most typical are probably tapas! In fact, tapas are a tradition that can only be found in Spain, a bit like the mezze of Greek and Lebanese cuisines and anyone who travels through Spain is enchanted by this simple habit, that is so unique at the same time.

The Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy, RAE) defines tapas as “any portion of solid foods that can accompany a drink”.

What is the origin of tapas?

The word tapa comes from the Frankish word tappo which, in French, means tapon or tampon (buffer) from which derives the Castilian word tapar which means “to fill” or “to cover” (a glass in this case). According to another theory, the meaning of “tapas” is explained by the fact that at the beginning, one could serve as an appetizer a slice of bread with cheese, charcuterie or something else directly placed on the glass of wine, thus forming a kind of lid.

This inspired a popular theory that the old custom of covering drinks with a dish to protect them from flies or dust has evolved with the addition of a small snack, consumed directly from the glass. There is yet another theory that a tasty appetizer, such as cheese, was used to mask or “cover” the smell of bad wine.

Many legends are associated with the birth of tapas, and almost all relate to King Alfonso X The Sage in the thirteenth century.

But I will only speak to you about the most famous anecdote that tells that the king, in one of his official visits to Cadiz, asked for a glass of Jerez, and just then, there was a very strong draft. To prevent the wine from filling with sand, the waiter had the good idea to put a slice of ham on the glass of wine. The king asked him why he had done such a thing and the waiter apologized and replied that it was a “tapa” (a cover) to prevent the wine from getting damaged by sand. The king liked the idea, he ate the tapa, drank the wine and ordered another drink, with another “tapa”. The other members of the court who accompanied the king asked for the same thing, and here is how the famous “tapa” was born!

Another theory attributes the origin of tapas to the fact that they were served as snacks after work or as merienda, the famous snacks served around 6 PM they were basically a way of bridging the gap between lunch and dinner, which is not normally served before 10 PM in Spain. A tapa and a drink were a way to tame the hunger until the evening.

Things have not changed much, but the culture of tapas is now more versatile because you can eat them all day. Whether for breakfast, for a mid-morning snack, or a business or romantic date for lunch or dinner, tapas can be served as a main meal, as an appetizer or simply to accompany a drink. Enjoying tapas, just like that, at any time, is called tapear.

But the most accepted theory, the one that would have really made the Spanish eat tapas, would go back to a royal decree by Philip III in the sixteenth century, which was intended to fight against drunkenness in Spanish cities, and insisted on the fact that alcoholic beverages should be served with a “tasty piece”.

From these main legends (and there are so many others) on the origin of the term tapa, there are many local versions, more or less known. With each of them, the origin of the tapa either mentions a way to reduce drunkenness, to protect the drink, or to tame the hunger while waiting for the meal.

What are the main varieties of tapas?

There is a very long list of traditional tapas, but here are some of the most popular tapas:

Boquerones, marinated or fried anchovies
Calamares a la romana, fried squid
Aceitunas, marinated olives
Albondigas, meatballs
Tortilla española, potato omelet with onions
Parrochas, small fried sardines
Pimientos asados, bell peppers marinated in olive oil and garlic
Pimientos de Padrón, green bell peppers sautéed with olive oil
Ibéricos y quesos – a selection of perfectly paired meats and cheeses.
Chicharrones, rillettes
Ensaladilla rusa, a salad of cold diced vegetables with mayonnaise, similar to Olivier salad.
Queso manchego, sheep cheese from La Mancha, a region in the center of Spain.
Salpicón de marisco, salad prepared with small seafood leftovers, fish and bell peppers in vinaigrette
– And of course … our patatas bravas!

Tapas are considered a real way of life, a social activity and a friendly way to meet people, friends over a drink to chat, laugh and taste these typical dishes!

We have tasted these delicious patatas bravas accompanied by a good gazpacho, and despite the number of patatas bravas that we tasted a month earlier during our summer vacation in Andalusia, we still enjoyed them with a glass of sangria!

Recipe Summary

  • Dipping Sauce:
  • 1 clove garlic, minced, or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle peppers
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • Spice Blend:
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground chipotle peppers
  • 2 quarts cold water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying

Combine garlic, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, and a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle or food processor process until smooth. Mix in mayonnaise, sherry vinegar, tomato paste, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, and cayenne pepper until combined. Cover and refrigerate dipping sauce.

Mix 1 tablespoon salt, black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder together in a small bowl. Set spice blend aside.

Pour water into a large saucepan and stir 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, cumin, and bay leaves into water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir potatoes into water-paprika mixture, bring to a boil, and simmer until potatoes are tender but not fully cooked, 4 to 5 minutes. The tip of a paring knife should easily insert into the center of a potato cube. Drain potatoes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 45 minutes.

Heat vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Add cooled potato cubes and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to cool slightly. Toss in a bowl with spice blend and serve with dipping sauce.

Salsa Brava Recipe

I'm fresh off an extended vacation to Spain, where patatas bravas was the starch of choice to accompany all of the incredible cured meats, aged cheeses, and fried vegetables that made up many of my tapas meals. During my two-and-a-half week journey, I never once encountered two patatas bravas sauces that were the same—they ranged from thin smoky tomato sauces to thick garlicky aiolis, each one having its own charm.

While my personal taste led me to like the spicy aioli versions best, the most unique and attention grabbing were the multi-layer tomato sauces. These had an intensity so strong that very little was needed to fully flavor the crisp, creamy spuds.

A stressful first week back at work had me longing to relive the relaxing long nights at Spanish bodegas and tabernas, so I fried up some potatoes and put together what I think is a pretty spot on interpretation of salsa brava. To the tomato, onion, and red pepper base, I added more garlic, vinegar, and hot and smoked paprika than I would have thought necessary in order to achieve the strong tang, smokiness, and heat that made this sauce so memorable. I was taken back to Spain in an instant.

Authentic Patatas Bravas Recipe (Spicy Potatoes)

slightly adapted from Hispacocina (YouTube recipe)

  • 4 medium potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces (peeled or unpeeled, your choice)
  • oil for deep frying (I used sunflower)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika (smoked or sweet, depending on your taste)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper (I used 1 tsp and the sauce was quite spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 200 ml (7 oz) chicken stock
  • salt, to taste

Optional: mayonnaise or aioli sauce to serve with the potatoes

Bring a pot of water to a boil then add the chopped potatoes. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, then drain in a colander and set aside.

In a sauté pan, fry the onions in the heated olive oil (sprinkle a little salt on the onions) for about 5 minutes or so. Do not let them brown. Next, add the paprika, cayenne and white pepper and stir.

Add the flour, stir and continue to cook for about 3 minutes, then slowly add the chicken stock.

Stir continuously until all the stock has been added, then simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often.

Remove from heat and process with an immersion blender until smooth (or process in a blender) and set aside.

Heat enough oil to deep fry the potatoes, then add half at a time, unless you are using a very large pot or fryer. Fry until golden brown, then place on a paper-towel lined plate or bowl. Repeat with the next half.

There are several ways to serve Spanish Patatas Bravas. Sometimes, the potatoes are served on a plate with the salsa brava on the side, along with some mayonnaise or aioli sauce. Other times, the sauce is mixed with a little mayo to create a less spicy sauce. Either way, these sauces can be poured over the plate of potatoes or squeezed over them from a condiment bottle. I love this authentic patatas bravas recipe!

I made a quick aioli to let my family try all the choices. Which way do you prefer? Do you like this Spanish Patatas Bravas recipe? Let me know!

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Watch the video: Papas Bravas (August 2022).