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Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas
No one can resist these spicy potatoes. A favorite throughout Spain, they are especially popular in the lively tapas bars of Madrid. Some versions omit the broth, cooking the potatoes in a tomato mixture spiked with chilies. Other recipes, such as ours, call for adding aioli to the sauce to produce a smoother, richer consistency. Pour glasses of ice-cold beer to temper the heat of the peppers.

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil for frying
  • 2 lb. new potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup aioli, or to taste (see related recipe at
      left)

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 200°F.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, pour in olive oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches. When the oil is hot, add the potatoes and more oil if necessary to cover them. Cook the potatoes, turning them with tongs as needed, until tender, crispy and brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a baking dish, season with salt and keep warm in the oven.

Drain off all but 1 Tbs. of the oil from the pan. Set the pan over low heat, add the flour and paprika and stir for a few minutes. Slowly add the stock, stirring constantly. Add the vinegar and red pepper flakes and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce and season with salt. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the aioli. Serve immediately with the potatoes. Serves 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring Spain & Portugal, by Joyce Goldstein (Time-Life Books, 2000).