Latin Twist: Patatas Bravas


Patatas Bravas2My beer theme continues—but this time, I’m back to cooking with beer, and today’s Latin Twist dish is my interpretation of Patatas Bravas. Brava, in Spanish, can mean fierce; this sauce definitely has a seasoned-induced bite that marries beautifully with the beer boiled and then roasted patatas (potatoes!).

Stay with me here! Mis queridos amigos, this classic Spanish tapa varies from bar to bar in Spain, but basically the components that I’m sharing are the constants: roasted chunks of potatoes with a spicy tomato-based sauce. This interpretation, which is a marriage of those I’ve tried in Spain plus a bit of my Tuckahoe neighbor’s cerveza (that would be beer from Broken Bow Brewery!), is one that you might find to be the perfect new addition to your cocktail party menu, or even an out-of-the-box Thanksgiving side dish! Would love to hear how you like them, and how you’d serve them. In the meantime,  ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!

Latin Twist: Patatas Bravas

Serving Size: About 1 quart of sauce, serves 4 to 6 as a side di

This spicy-sauced roasted potato dish can be an appetizer or a side dish! You can tone the heat up or down according to your taste.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds mixed potatoes
  • 1 can Broken Bow Marbledale American Pale Ale
  • Coarse salt
  • For the Brava sauce
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 can Broken Bow Marbledale American Pale Ale
  • 3 large beefsteak (or heirloom) tomatoes
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or according to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • Coarse salt
  • Scallions for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 Degrees.
  2. Wash the potatoes thoroughly and cut into small cubes. In a large pot, bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil.
  3. Add the potatoes, and one can of beer.
  4. Boil for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes just start to soften.
  5. Drain and transfer to an oiled baking sheet.
  6. Season with salt.
  7. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes or until very crispy.
  8. While the potatoes are cooking, coarsely chop the red onion and the tomatoes.
  9. In a large sauté pan, add olive oil and warm over a low-medium heat.
  10. Add the onions and, after they start to soften, add the beer.
  11. Cook until the beer is almost completely absorbed.
  12. Add the tomatoes, cayenne pepper, and paprika.
  13. Raise the heat to a medium-high heat and cook until the sauce becomes a dark red color (depending on the color of your tomatoes!), about 20 minutes.
  14. Add the sherry vinegar and salt, and remove from heat.
  15. Combine all in a blender (may have to be in batches) or food processor and blend until puréed. (Note—you can leave this as a non-puréed sauce if you choose).
  16. Correct seasoning as needed.
  17. Once potatoes are crisped, you can “paint” a dollop of the sauce on a plate (as pictured here) or top with the tomato purée and a sprinkle of scallions.



About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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