Ridiculously crispy potatoes, spicy tomato sauce and bright garlicky aioli, what's not to love? The first time we had this wonderful tapas dish was at a little spot called Cafe Arizzabal behind La Boqueria Market in Barcelona. They were so good we dragged friends back there multiple times even though we were only in the city for a few days.
A traditional Bravas calls for a once off fry of the potatoes from raw and only had the spicy tomato sauce with no aioli. I chose to triple cook the potatoes instead so that they're light and fluffy inside but have an incredible crunchy surface. The aioli was actually there when we had it in Barcelona and we find it adds another great element to the dish that contrasts well against the paprika in the tomato sauce. It's a quick blender aioli that can be made in 5 minutes.
Time: 3 hours (45 active)
Difficulty: Moderate if triple cooking, easy if single cooking
7 Medium Potatoes (I generally use the n+1 rule for any potato dish)
2 Cups frying oil
1 Medium Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
4 Tomatoes (Chopped) Or 1 Tin Tomato
2 Tsp Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 Cup Water
Stick Blender & Jug
1 Whole Egg
1 Small Clove of Garlic
1 Cup Light Olive Oil
1 Tsp Mustard
1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Juice of Half a Lemon
Salt & Pepper
Cut the potatoes into even sized chunked and simmer in well salted water until easily percale with a fork. Spread them out on a baking dish and place in the fridge for about an hour to cool. Once cool add them to a pot with the frying oil at 130 C and fry until a light crust forms on the outside (±5 mins), they shouldn't brown. After this step the chips can be kept in the fridge overnight until the final fry or fried immediately. For the final fry: add the potatoes to a pot at 180 C and fry until golden brown and crispy, drain on a paper towel.
For the Tomato Sauce: Add the chopped onions to a pot with a small amount of oil and when translucent add the crushed garlic, chopped chillis and paprika. Fry for about 3 minutes before adding the tin tomato and water and allowed to simmer on a low heat until thickening. Add the vinegar and season to your taste. Heat up again just before service if you've made it earlier.
For the Aioli: Using a jug that fits your blender head snugly; add the whole egg at the bottom followed by the crushed garlic, mustard and vinegar. Add the oil and then place your blender over the egg at the bottom. Start at a low speed and when the egg begins to emulsify (the mixture will start turning white) pull the blender slowly up through the mixture. Adjust the seasoning with lemon, salt and pepper. (You can check this method out on our instagram highlights :D)
To serve pour the spicy sauce and aioli over the potatoes just before they hit the table so they retain their crunch! You may garnish with some chopped parsley.