Patatas a la Riojana are Rioja-style potatoes simmered in a pimentón (sweet paprika) stew with pieces of Spanish chorizo and caramelized onions. It is perfect for serving with an assortment of tapas or anytime you want a hearty, warming meal.
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While Patatas Bravas may be the more well-known potato tapas dish here in the United States, Patatas a la Riojana should definitely not be missed. As the name suggests, this dish originated in La Rioja, a region in Spain. Pieces of potatoes, Spanish chorizo, and caramelized onions are simmered in a pimentón-spiced stew until tender. It comes together easily with only a handful of ingredients and one pot. The Spanish chorizo with the pimentón dye the olive oil and water red and add that additional depth of flavor and smoky quality. Have some fresh, crusty bread on hand to sop up the remaining liquid leftover in the serving dish.
I adapted this recipe from José Andrés’s book, Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America. I recently had the opportunity to see José Andrés at MetroCooking DC (more on this over the next couple of weeks) and it was so incredible to watch him cook in person. The experience left me inspired to cook a few of his recipes and other Spanish dishes at home. This Patatas a la Rioja is the perfect addition to your tapas spread or as an appetizer for entertaining.
I first discovered chorizo only a few years ago. We stumbled upon it while at a wine and cheese shop in Florida and were immediately hooked. Spanish Chorizo is a type of smoked or cured sausage seasoned with paprika, not to be confused with the fresh Mexican chorizo- a completely different product. Based on the type of seasoning, it can be spicy or sweet. I have been able to find it locally at Wegmans and it is becoming more and more available in American grocery stores in the specialty or deli sections. It can also be ordered from specialty sites online.
Pimentón is a Spanish paprika made from ground chile peppers. The flavor varies based on the type of pepper used. It can be Dulce (sweet), Agridulce (mild) or even Picante (hot). It is available in the spice or international food section of many larger grocery stores or on Amazon: Sweet Spanish Smoked Paprika and Chiquilin Smoked Paprika Tin.
Patatas a la Riojana (Potatoes Rioja-Style with Chorizo) Recipe
Patatas a la Riojana (Potatoes Rioja-Style with Chorizo)
Adapted from Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America
3 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 small onion (about 1 cup), peeled and finely chopped
7 ounces Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 1/2-2 cups water
1 teaspoon pimentón (Spanish sweet paprika)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 bay leaf
In a large pan, drizzle the olive oil over low heat. Ad the garlic and cook until just fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and caramelized to a golden color, about 20 minutes. If getting dark too quickly, adjust the heat lower and stir in about 1/2 tablespoon water as needed.
Add the chorizo pieces and cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and gently toss to coat in the oil. Cook, gently stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Add the 1 1/2-2 cups water, just enough to cover the potatoes, and stir in the pimentón, salt, and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the water has reduced by half into a thick stew.