I find it hard to get excited about potatoes. You may notice my blog is somewhat light on the potato recipes thus far. As a child i found potatoes to be very boring, and i don't seem to have grown out of this perspective to any great degree. However, i'm still working on using up those pottles of frozen items from my freezer, and when i came across a container of bravas sauce it reminded me of this rather nice way of eating potatoes.
This is another Jamie Oliver recipe, from the rather ungainly titled 'Jamie does Spain, Italy, Sweden, Morocco, Greece, France'. As is my wont, i have made some minor changes to the recipe. The potatoes are supposed to be par-boiled and then fried, but roasting seems like an easier option to me - you can put them in the oven and forget about them, rather than having to toss and turn them and generally keep an eye on them. Also i think you get away with using less oil, which i like from a purely economic perspective. I've also made minor changes to the bravas sauce; an extra carrot because i like the sweetness, and i swapped out fresh chillies for chilli paste, because i had the latter but not the former.
In Spain this dish is served in tapas bars (according to Jamie - i've not been there myself), but on those rare occasions that i feel like a feed of spuds i quite like to serve them as the main event, with a simple green salad on the side. Sometimes i serve them with a poached egg on top. They are also a nice way to serve potatoes with a roast meal.
My pot of bravas sauce from the freezer was looking a bit sad after 2 years (!!! See - i need this current focus on using things from my freezer!) but i brewed up a new batch, of which we used half, and i now have a new pot of bravas sauce in the freezer. I intend to use it within the month.
From "Jamie Does... Spain, Italy, Sweden, Morocco, Greece, France"
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon salt
for the bravas sauce
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon chilli paste
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, tough stalks discarded, the rest finely chopped
400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parboil the potatoes over a medium heat for 10 minutes, or until they are starting to get tender but still holding their shape. Drain in a colander and leave to steam dry until cool. Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Celcius.
Meanwhile, put a pan on a low heat and start your bravas sauce. Add a lug of olive oil and, once hot, add the chopped onion and sliced garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft but not coloured. Add the chilli paste, carrot and thyme and cook for another 5 min. Add the tinned tomaotes, red wine vinegar and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are soft and the sauce is lovely and thick.
While your sauce simmers, chop the potatoes into large bite-sized chunks. Add olive oil to a roasting dish, and toss the potatoes through. You don't want them to be swimming in oil, but lightly coated all over. Put your potatoes in the oven to roast for about 45 minutes until golden and crispy. Add the garlic, rosemary and fennel seeds to the roast dish and toss through for the last 10 min of roasting.
Carefully tip your cooked sauce into a blender, or use a stick blender, and whiz until smooth-ish. Have a taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and sprinkle with paprika and a good pinch of salt. Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with sauce. Serve with extra sauce in a jug.
The sauce makes enough for two full batches of Patatas Bravas. It freezes well, or you can use it with pasta or on homemade pizza.