Distractions and Prevarications, Part 3

Patatas a lo Pobre

Poor Man’s Potatoes

We quickly worked out that the real reason these are called “Poor Man’s Potatoes” is because only a poor man – specifically, a man without a job – would have the time to make them very often.  But they are absolutely worth the effort.  This recipe is from the utterly wonderful Moro CookbookThis fabulous restaurant remains one of the few reasons to miss living in London.

What with all the preparatory chopping, slicing and peeling, to say nothing of the actual cooking, this takes an improbably long time.  But if I’m going to avoid writing, this is one of the very best ways of doing it.

poor man's pots

Serves 4

15 tablespoons of olive oil

3 large Spanish onions, thinly sliced

5 garlic cloves, thickly sliced

3 green peppers, halved, seeded, and roughly chopped

4 bay leaves, preferably fresh

1 kg firm, waxy potatoes, peeled

sea salt and black pepper

Set a large saucepan over a medium heat and add 5 tablespoons of the olive oil.  When the oil is hot, add the onion and a pinch of salt.  Cook the onion slowly, turning down the heat if necessary, for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden and sweet in smell and taste.  Now add the garlic, pepper and bay and cook for 15 more minutes to release their flavor.  Meanwhile, cut the potatoes in half lengthways and each half in two or three wedges, depending on the size of the potato.  Salt them lightly and leave for about 5 minutes.  When the pepper has softened, add the remaining oil and when the oil is hot again, add the potatoes.  Let everything simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for another 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Drain in a colander or sieve, keeping the onion oil aside for further use.

Comments 3

  1. You’ve inspired me to do the same tonight! It will vary a hair from the Moro original, as I have red peppers at hand. The best part is… our garlic, our potatoes, our onion! Later in the season the pepper will certainly also come from the garden. We love the Moro books too. They’re some of our best sellers in the store – mostly because we stick them in front of anyone who seems remotely likely to respond to them which is, of course, anyone with a mouth.

  2. Hi Don: hope the potatoes turned out well. Believe it or not, the peppers were ones we grew ourselves. They’re growing faster than we can cook ’em right now.

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