Toughest Cowboy

Living in a Food Loving Household

Category: Spanish Cuisine

Patatas Bravas

I have a friend with a particularly good turn of phrase and one of her favourite things to say is ‘God loves a trier.’ This particular phrase came to me this morning when I was reviewing the utter carnage that unfolded when I attempted to serve the toddler a dinner item that was not pasta or risotto.

As a general rule, he doesn’t throw food but last night came perilously close. Anyone would think I’d served him up pure poison rather than sausages (which had been scoffed on Sunday) and potatoes that were almost chips.

Anyway, my husband and I thought this tasted very nice and if your child eats potatoes this would make a nice introduction to spice.

Patatas bravas

In case of emergency, and potato phobic toddlers, this sauce also apparently goes well with pasta (what else) and grated cheddar. Makes two portions.


For the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Handful of diced onion
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 227g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of sugar (mine were quite large pinches, approx 1/4 tsp each, adjust as you see fit)

For the ‘patatas’:

  • 1 medium sized potato
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Water for boiling

Put your oven on to preheat, I usually do mine at 180 degrees (fan). While your oven is preheating, start the sauce.

Heat the two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a smallish pan and lightly fry the onion. About five minutes in, add the tomato puree, garlic, paprika and cayenne. Cook for a further two minutes before adding the tinned tomatoes and sugar. Turn the heat down to medium and simmer for around 30 minutes.

Peel and chop your potatoes into the size you prefer (I did toddler bite sized) and put into a pan of cold water. Bring to the boil and allow to boil for three minutes (I use a timer for this as I have a terrible tendency to forget and then end up with mush). Drain and leave to sit for a few minutes.

Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a baking tin or tray and put into the oven to heat up. The best time to do this is when you put the timer on for the potatoes, as oil only needs about five minutes in a hot oven to get spitting hot.

Take the tray with the hot oil out of the oven, tip the parboiled potatoes in and give a good shake to ensure they are all coated in hot oil before returning to the oven for around 20 minutes or until nice and crispy. Be warned, they will spit!

When the potatoes are ready, put on a plate and spoon some of the sauce over. The sauce should cover but not drown the potatoes. Serve with whatever you wish.