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Patatas a La Pobre (Poor Man's Potatoes)

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“Spanish recipe from the Alpujarras. This is the most authentic version I know and is similar to the version served in the mountain restaurant where we like to take our visitors. Genuine patatas a la pobre does not contain meat but we often add beaten eggs to the drained patatas and cook some more, stirring until the eggs are set (scrambled eggs in UK, shirred I think in US)”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 4 large potatoes, medium sliced (soak them in water for about 20 minutes to get rid of the starch and then drain and pat dry with a c)
  • 1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped or cut into thick strips (could use red pepper but is not authentic)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped (more if you like garlic)
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 12 liter olive oil
  • salt


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan (I use a non stick wok).
  2. Add the potatoes and some salt and fry on a high heat for 5 minutes, turning the potatoes in the oil, and then turn the heat down very low.
  3. Cover the pan and continue gently frying the potatoes for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the green pepper, garlic and onion and give everything a good stir.
  5. Cover the pan again and leave to fry gently for another 10 minutes. Check from time to time to make sure that it's not sticking too much to the bottom of the pan.
  6. At the end of 10 minutes look to see whether the potatoes are cooked and taste for salt, add some more if necessary.
  7. The potatoes need to be soft but with some of them a bit crispier to add to the flavour. If the potatoes are not fully cooked, put the lid back on and leave on the heat for another 5 minutes or so.
  8. Remove the vegetables from the oil with a slotted spoon and serve.
  9. If you want to add eggs, drain the oil from the pan, leaving the veggies and turn the heat up a little higher.
  10. Add one beaten egg per person and cook, stirring, until eggs are cooked to your taste.
  11. Prep time includes 20 mins soaking.

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