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My kid approved version of Cajun Steak with Grilled Patatas Bravas is quick enough for weeknight meals and is popular with the entire family! Grilled patatas bravas may not be as authentic as their fried counterparts, but absolutely ‘rival in the spectacular category,’ and are most definitely lightened up!
Patatas Bravas is one of, if not the most, popular tapas potato anywhere around. This dish is typically boiled in water and baking soda, cooled completely, then fried. All of these steps are a time eater on weeknights. My grilled version of the classic begins with baby potatoes that are pre-cooked in the microwave.
They are then seasoned alongside the beef with delicious Creole seasoning, and finished on the grill. Total time for Cajun Steak with Grilled Patatas Bravas? 30 minutes! If looking for other beefy dinner ideas that can be ready in right around 30 minutes, check out my Beef Tips in Mushroom Sauce.
I am using filet mignons that I purchased from my local box store for this grilled masterpiece that is Cajun Steak with Grilled Patatas Bravas. You could also use ribeye, New York strip, or top sirloin.
Patatas bravas is traditionally served with two sauces that merge on the plate, creating a mingling of fiery flavor balanced by a mild aioli. The sauce I am making today combines these flavors into a single mild kid-appealing dipping sauce that can be modified with the addition of cayenne or bottled hot sauce. I am feeding adults today, so I am adding cayenne and grilled, chopped scallion!
Patatas bravas, also called patatas a la brava, papa bravas, or papas bravas, all meaning “spicy potatoes,” is a dish native to Spain. A true papas bravas recipe is zesty, and full of garlic and spicy pepper such as cayenne.
My Cajun Steak With Grilled Patatas Bravas recipe tastes “Spanish authentic” but takes one third the normal prep time. It begins in the microwave and ends on the grill. It boasts all of the traditional Spanish flavors patatas bravas is so wildly popular for, including smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic, and salt.
Bravas sauce is actually two sauces. The first, a fiery tomato based sauce is prepared using tomato paste and lots of seriously HOT pepper, garlic, and paprika. The second sauce is similar to garlic aioli and is considerably milder. Unless you hail from Spain, in which case “mild” may just be another degree of heat!
I am all about food and love to experiment with all kinds of recipes from around the world. But being the author author of a Southern food blog, the grilled dish I bring you today is in keeping with this niche. Cajun Steak With Grilled Patatas Bravas is NOT something I had occasion to delight in while visiting Europe. Rather, this Creole version is the Americanized answer to a much beloved tapas dish as popular here as it is in Spain.
The seasoned Creole crust that forms on these outrageously delicious patatas bravas keeps the centers buttery and tender. Whose idea was it to throw in a steak? Haha, MINE!
My introduction to these bite-sized spicy potato tapas took place in New Orleans. There, the supposed original patatas bravas Barcelona recipe was tweaked to satisfy a Cajun culture and population. Well known methods for this dish such as ‘Patatas Bravas José Andrés’ make a stage right departure for ingredients and steps Creole chef’s have been improvising with for two centuries. I may be biased, but I personally think this is not only an easy patatas bravas recipe, but also the BEST patatas bravas recipe!
Patatas bravas, or fried potatoes, are typically made from russet potatoes. They are boiled (barely) in baking soda and water before being drained and having a good amount of salt added to rough their flesh. After a complete cool down, they are then fried in oil over medium heat to not only cook them, but get them nice and goldeny brown. They’re then turned out onto a baking sheet to drain before being served.
Now, we could follow a patatas bravas receta auténtica and skip the fry oil for an air fryer. We could. But then we still have multiple appliances going seeing as we still need to grill the steak. When I think “easy week night,” I don’t envision running from the back deck to the house. I’d need to do this to monitor both an air fryer and a grill!
How To Make Patatas Bravas On The Backyard Grill
The bravas potatoes recipe I will show you today begins with baby Dutch yellow potatoes. I like these for the grill because they are sturdier than they are starchy. I use just a tablespoon or two of olive oil to avoid sticking. Pile high onto the grill at about the same time you begin the steaks. The entire meal comes together in just about 30 minutes. This leaves me the luxury of sipping a glass of red wine while I wait. And my grill items have ample time to caramelize and form a beautiful bark.
Let’s talk a patatas bravas sauce recipe, specifically the patatas bravas aioli. Brava sauce is popular with just about everybody. It’s full of fresh earthy flavors like garlic and pepper. And although aioli isn’t difficult to make, it is time consuming. Remember, we are shooting for this meal falling neatly into the ‘weeknight’ category while still tasting amazing.
So, I cheat a bit and begin with mayonnaise. To this, I add two garlic cloves which I have run across my microplane to achieve a garlic paste. Smoked paprika, Creole seasoning, grilled chopped scallions, black pepper, and sherry vinegar round out the ingredients in this salsa brava. I run everything but the charred chopped scallions through the food processor to maintain the silky smooth consistency. I then add the scallions just before serving. Who says patatas braves have to be difficult?
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Cajun Steak With Grilled Patatas Bravas
- gas or charcoal grill
- 12 ounces Dutch baby yellow potatoes halved lengthwise
- 1 pound boneless steak room temperature; I am using filet mignon, however New York strip, ribeye, and top sirloin are all excellent choices
- 4 green onions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil may substitute Canola
- 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning divided
- 4 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise
- 2 large cloves garlic run over a microplane to create a paste
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- Bring 1 pound of grilling steaks to room temperature for at least 1 hour. Salt and pepper both sides lightly and allow to stand an additional 20 minutes.
- Preheat a gas grill for medium heat. Alternatively, if using a charcoal grill, prepare coals on half the grill for medium heat and set grate over both hot and cool sides of grill.
- Halve the baby Dutch potatoes lengthwise and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with paper toweling and heat on high for 8 to 10 minutes. Potatoes should be steaming and very tender. Drain if any moisture has accumulated in the bowl.
- Coat steak, potatoes, and onions with oil and 1 tablespoon of a good Creole or Cajun seasoning. Line grill grates with aluminum foil. Place steak, potatoes, and onions on grill. Grill 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until potatoes are marked, onions are charred, and steak is 125°F for medium rare; warm red center. **SEE NOTES FOR ADDITIONAL TEMPERATURES AND TIMES
- Transfer steak to a rimmed cutting board. Tent tightly with foil to maintain heat and let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Temperature will rise 5 to 10°F during the rest time so be sure to factor this into your doneness calculations.
- In a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, garlic, paprika, vinegar, and remaining Creole or Cajun seasoning. Rough chop the green onions into roughly 1/2-inch segments. Stir into the bravas sauce.
- Toss potatoes in mayonnaise mixture or serve on the side, about 1 tablespoon per person. Serve sliced steak with patatas bravas.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.