We can’t go to a Tapas restaurant without ordering at least one Tortilla Española. And it turns out that there isn’t a lot to it. Just 3 ingredients: eggs, potatoes and onions. Though somehow I’ve never really been able to make it as good as they do in a restaurant….until I did some research on how to do it right
The traditional method involves cooking the onions & potatoes in a large quantity of olive oil (note: not extra virgin) and then giving it a flip halfway through cooking. Since I’m not a big fan of flipping heavy items in super hot pans, I did some reading to see if there was a compromise involving the oven – frittata style.
And there is. 20 minutes in the oven eliminates the need for an awkward flip that will most definitely require another set of hands – and completely eliminates the risk of prematurely cutting your tortilla in half.
You’ll notice that this requires a lot of olive oil. About 3 cups. Long ago I started buying the twin pack of 3 Liter bottles of olive oil at Costco. And I’m constantly amazed how quickly I go through it.
But don’t let the oil get too hot. You’re not frying the potatoes and onions, it’s really sort of a confit.
After the tortilla is finished, the onions will basically disintegrate into the dish. And the potato pieces will have that amazing fluffiness to them – like the inside of a perfect french fry. With all of this being held together by eggy goodness with a crispy surface. Wow.
Oh, and don’t throw out that oil that’s left in your saucepan. A simple side salad is great alongside a slice of the tortilla. You can use some of this super flavorful oil to make a vinaigrette. I combined the potato oil and extra virgin olive oil 1:1 and blended with white wine vinegar (3:2 oil to vinegar) along with a touch of dijon mustard and some chopped herbs.
20 minutesCook time:
Yield: 8 servings
- 2 Pounds Potatoes
- 2 White Onions
- 8 Eggs
- 3 Cups Olive Oil
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, pour in the olive oil
- Place a cast iron pan in your oven and preheat to 375 degrees
- Peel and chop the potatoes into pieces, 1/2″ dice.
- Chop the onions and mix them with the potatoes and some salt and pepper
- Cook the potatoes and onions in the oil for about 30 minutes until they are softened, but not fall-apart crumbly
- Carefully remove the cast iron pan from the oven
- Even more carefully, transfer the potatoes and onions to the pan with a slotted spoon. (To about 3/4ths full)
- Place the pan over low heat and slowly pour in the eggs. Don’t fill too high, the eggs will rise slightly
- Gently stir the mixture as the eggs cook so that all of the potatoes are coated well.
- When the eggs have just started to set (about 3-5 minutes), transfer the pan back to the oven
- Bake for 20 minutes. Insert a knife in the center and see if it’s done. Give it a few more minutes if it isn’t.
- You can give it a few well supervised minutes under the broiler to brown and crisp off the top
- Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving, or (if you can wait), serve it chilled the next day.