Patatas a lo Pobre

Slow-Cooked Potatoes with Onion and Capsicum


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Media Racion


Appears in


By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2007

  • About

It is said that patatas a lo pobre take as long to cook as the time it takes for a farm wife to put the pot on the stove and walk the kilometre or so to the fields to tell the men that dinner is ready and then walk back. Based on peasant cooking, patatas a lo pobre — poor men’s potatoes — has a rich flavour with the earthiness of the potatoes, freshened with the capsicums and the fruitiness of olive oil. It is very rustic and filling so you don’t need to serve much. The key to this dish is to make sure all the ingredients are roughly the same size when they go into the pot so everything cooks evenly.


  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, cut into large wedges
  • fine sea salt, to sprinkle
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 red capsicum (pepper), seeded, membrane removed and cut into 1 cm (½ inch) thick slices
  • 1 green capsicum (pepper), seeded, membrane removed and cut into 1 cm (½inch) thick slices
  • ½ garlic bulb, skin on but broken into cloves
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) waxy potatoes, such as nicola or kipfler (fingerling), cut into 5–8 mm (¼–⅜ inch) thick slices
  • 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) olive oil (you may not need all the oil)
  • tablespoons ajo y perejil


Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the onion and sprinkle with fine sea salt. Add the bay leaves and stir. Reduce the heat to low–medium, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Once the onion is soft, add the capsicum and garlic and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, or until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the potato and enough olive oil to cover the vegetables and increase the heat to high. The idea is to confit (see Note) the vegetables gently at just below boiling point. When small bubbles appear reduce the heat to low–medium. Cook gently for about 1 hour, or until tender.

Gently lift out the vegetables with a slotted spoon. The oil can be strained and used another three or four times to confit other dishes in this book.

While the vegetables are cooking preheat the oven to 220°C (475°F/Gas 8). Spread out the vegetables on a large baking tray and season with a little sea salt and the ajo y perejil. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes until the edges of the potatoes are a little crispy.