La Rioja-Style Potatoes
Patatas a la riojana, a hearty mixture of potatoes and chorizo, is one of the signature dishes of La Rioja, a wine-growing region in northern Spain, where it is traditionally cooked in an iron pot over an open fire. Many Spanish cooks insist that the potatoes should be roughly broken with the hands—not cut with a knife—so that they release more of their starch.
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil, or as needed
- 4 large new potatoes, about 2 lb. (1 kg) total weight, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) chunks
- 8 oz. (250 g) Spanish-style semicured chorizo sausage
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell or piquillo pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. pimentón dulce (sweet Spanish smoked pepper)
- 1 small fresh red chile, seeded and minced
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the potatoes and sauté, stirring often, until pale gold, 10 to 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl. Add the chorizo to the pan and fry, turning as needed, until crisp and golden, about 4 minutes, adding more oil if needed. Using tongs, transfer the chorizo to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces.
Add the onion to the pan and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 15 minutes. Add the bell pepper, garlic, pimentón and chile and sauté until the onion has absorbed all the spices, about 5 minutes longer.
Return the potatoes and chorizo to the pan and pour in 1 cup (8 fl. oz./ 250 ml) water. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with the parsley and serve warm. Serves 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Rustic Spanish (Weldon Owen, 2016)