Patatas bravas are a classic Spanish tapas dish. “Tapas” are basically small plates or bar snacks. The word tapas means “top” or “cover” in Spanish, referring to the practice of setting your small plate with food atop your drink between sips. Patatas bravas are typically served with a spicy tomato sauce and garlic aioli.
Some form of these crispy, spicy, and garlicky potatoes are served in almost every bar in Spain. Patatas bravas, marinated olives, and Spanish tortilla are my favorite drinking snacks in Spain and at tapas bars in this country too.
Several tapas can be put together for a light, savory meal. Served with red wine, Spanish “rioja,” chilled vermouth, or an ice-cold fruity red or white sangria, tapas make a perfect early evening snack or happy hour appetizer for you and your guests.
Most tapas can be prepared in a matter of minutes. There are only a few ingredients and many tapas do not even need to be cooked.
In Spain, patatas bravas are fried to achieve a golden brown color and a crisp exterior texture. I prefer not to eat fried food so I researched and experimented with a few techniques to boil and then oven roast the potatoes to achieve the same outcome.
First, the potatoes are boiled until just tender. Then I allow the potatoes to dry in a colander for a little while before peeling and dicing. You can also place the potatoes in the fridge to speed up the process.
Peel and dice the potatoes. Line a sheet pan with parchment before placing diced potatoes on the pan. Make sure that you do not crowd the potatoes Toss the potatoes with olive oil and sea salt to taste. Roast the potatoes for the first 20 minutes without turning. Then turn the potatoes and continue roasting for another 30-40 minutes.
Patatas bravas are served with a drizzle of the red spicy bravas sauce and a drizzle of the garlic mayonnaise aioli.