There are days when only comfort food will do. I’m talking hot oven, big pot, stick to the ribs style comfort food. I’m talking Patatas Bravas. To be specific I’m talking Patatas Bravas, Linda McCartney style. (Disclaimer: I honestly have no idea how Linda cooked her Patatas but I’d like to think in another life we’ll swap notes.)
This fusion dish came about during our recent holiday to the Isle of Wight where we stayed at the gorgeous little Old coastguards cottage in Alum Bay. If you’re a lover of the quiet life with views for days then I highly recommend a stay on the island.
It always seems to surprise people to hear that I love to cook whilst on holiday. And it always surprises me to hear that people are surprised. For me having time to lavish on creating new dishes with new ingredients or revisiting old favourites that don’t get the time or attention they deserve on a regular weeknight is always a holiday highlight.
Eating for me is a total pleasure, watching others eat and enjoy something I’ve lovingly cooked even more so. For the most part I find prepping and cooking very therapeutic. I’ll be the first to admit that I can get a wee bit tetchy getting to grips with someone elses idea of a fully stocked kitchen or figuring out the settings and timings for unfamiliar appliances. Thankfully once I pour a glass of wine, pop on a playlist and get myself into holiday mood I’m good to go.
This recipe came to life through the need for a complete, hearty meal after a long day exploring the island. However those of you that don’t eat meat replacements or wish to keep this recipe wheat and soya free can just omit the sausages and keep the dish purely vegetable based, which is closer to a traditional Patatas Bravas.
Ritual: Slow Cooked
Character: Sticky and spicy
Essence: Mediterranean taverna
Free from: Nuts
- Baby new potatoes - 1kg - Washed and quartered. Skins on
- Linda McCartney red onion and rosemary sausage - 6 sausages - Sliced into rounds
- Tomato Puree - 200g
- 2 Red onions - Diced
- 3 Sweet peppers - Diced. (I prefer one of each colour)
- 1 Large lemon - Quartered
- 4 Garlic cloves - Sliced
- 1 Vegetable stock cube
- 1/4 tsp Smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp Smoked sea salt
- 1/4 tsp Crushed black pepper
- 3 Tbsp Olive oil
Heat oven to 200C Add 2 Tbsp oil to a large, deep casserole dish and heat in centre of the oven for approx 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes add a small piece of potato to the pot. If it sizzles the oil is hot enough. If not return to the oven for a few more minutes.
Once the oil is hot carefully add the potatoes and lemons to the pot. Sprinkle with the smoked paprika, smoked salt and cracked black pepper and quickly but carefully stir together before returning the pot to the oven for approx 25 minutes.
Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and once hot add the remaining 1Tbsp olive oil. Swirl to coat the pan then add the Linda McCartney sausage rounds, moving them quickly around the pan to avoid sticking. Cook for approx 10 minutes stirring and turning frequently.
Remove the sausage chunks with a slotted spoon leaving behind the seasoned oil. Place on a plate covered in kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
Add the onions to the pan and cook for approx 8 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions just begin to colour.
Add the peppers, garlic, crumbled vegetable stock cube and cayenne pepper. Stir well to combine the onions and continue to cook for 8 to 10 minutes until beginning to caramelise.
Turn the heat to low and squeeze in the tomato puree. Add a splash of hot water to loosen if it needs it. Stir well to combine.
Cook for 5 minutes before adding the sausages back in and giving it all a good stir. Continue to cook on low for 5 minutes before turning off the heat.
Check the potatoes by piercing one with a knife to see how much they've softened. Carefully give a good stir to loosen them from the base of the dish. Adjust the heat accordingly if they appear to be sticking or browning too quickly. Return to the oven for further 20 to 25 minutes. You want them to be crisp and nicely golden on the outside but soft and fluffy in the middle.
Once the potatoes are cooked add the sausage and tomato mixture and stir to combine. The sauce should be rich and thick but easily coat the potatoes. If it seems too dry add in a splash of hot water until it coats more easily then return to the oven for a final 20 minutes.
I prefer to make this ahead of time and allow it to continue to marinade in the oven once its turned off. Its extra special the following day hence the large quantities.
Don’t forget to tag me @applefalltree in your version over on Instagram and let me know how you like it in the comments below.