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Recipe - Patatas a lo Pobre

Recipe - Patatas a lo Pobre

It has been a while since we posted a recipe, and this is long overdue.  

One of our favourite tapas dishes here in Granada is this simple mix of potato, green pepper, onion and garlic.  It does sound very simple, and the name of the dish translates roughly as ‘poor man’s potatoes’ or literally potatoes to the poor.

I thought, these must be easy to make, and have had a few attempts to get the flavours right, and this is the result!

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium potatoes - must be firm and waxy potatoes, not the floury type.
  • Half a large green pepper
  • A medium onion
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Some chorizo, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Chicken stock cube
  • Olive oil for cooking

I am sure purists would say that this is not the correct method, or the right ingredients, but it does seem that there are lots of variants and we are all for full flavour.

First, peel and then slice the potatoes into reasonably chunky slices.  To give them extra flavour, I bring a pan of chicken stock to the boil (this can be water with a chicken stock cube dissolved) and then I plunge in the potatoes briefly just to give them a bit if that stock flavour.  Once the potatoes just start to soften at the edges, drain them and set them to one side.  Do not boil them until they are cooked!

In a large frying pan, heat a good quantity of olive oil; you want around 1cm of depth of oil in the pan.  When the oil is hot, gently add the potato slices and then coat them thoroughly in the oil.  Add the peeled cloves of garlic and let this cook over a gentle heat until the potatoes just start to soften: around 5 minutes or so.

Peel and finely chop the onion, and slice the green pepper.  Take a piece of chorizo and slice this finely.

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When the potatoes have just started to soften, or begin to turn brown, add the onion, pepper and chorizo and cook until the onion and pepper have softened, stirring occasionally, but not too often.

Again, to add a burst of flavour, I add a shot of vinegar and spice right at the end.  In a small bowl mix together the paprika, cumin, vinegar, water and a crumbled chicken stock cube.  Once the potatoes, pepper and onion have cooked (the potatoes, onion and pepper should be soft, with some of them browned from the gentle frying), add the vinegar and spice mix and stir gently but thoroughly and then leave to cook for a short time more until the vinegar mix has been absorbed.

Serve!  This is delicious either as a light lunch tapas, or as an accompaniment to fish, chicken, meat or whatever you fancy.  For a vegetarian option, just leave out the chorizo and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

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