“Whether you're in Madrid or Manchester, you'll have to look really hard to find a tapas bar that doesn't serve some version of these potatoes. They're beautiful fried simply with herbs and a pinch of salt, but even more exciting served in a spicy tomato 'bravas' sauce. 'Patatas bravas' actually means 'fierce potatoes'…How could anyone resist something with such a brilliant name? ”
Parboil the potatoes over a medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are starting to get tender but still hold their shape. Drain in a colander and leave to steam dry until cool.
Meanwhile, put a pan on a lowheat and start your bravas sauce. Add a lug of olive oil and, once hot, add the chopped onion and sliced garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft but not coloured. Add the chillies, carrot and thyme leaves and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes, sherry vinegar and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are soft and the sauce is lovely and thick.
While your sauce simmers, put a large frying pan on a medium heat and add 0.5cm of olive oil. Cut your potatoes into large bite-sized chunks. Once the oil is hot, carefully add your potatoes to the pan. Cook them for around 8 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden all over. You’ll need to do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Add your garlic and rosemary leaves to the pan for the last minute of cooking.
Transfer the potatoes, garlic and rosemary to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain, then scatter over the paprika, fennel seeds and a good pinch of salt and toss together until well coated.
Carefully tip your cooked sauce into a blender, or use a hand blender, and whiz until lovely and smooth. Have a taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve in a jug next to your potatoes or, if youwant to be more traditional, pour the sauce over your potatoes before serving and toss together like I've done here. If you have any leftover sauce, use it with pasta or on a homemade pizza.