For the Spaniards, a tortilla isn't a flour wrap filled with meat and veggies but rather a deep dish potato bake. The goal is to have it lightly golden on the top yet soft and moist in the centre.
- 1.2 kg large Désirée or washed potatoes
- 1 litre olive oil, for cooking
- 1 large brown onion
- 12 large eggs, plus extra as necessary
- 60 ml pure olive oil, for frying
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Peel the potatoes and cut into 2 cm cubes, and dice onion. Heat the olive oil in a wide, deep heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat until just warm, then add the potatoes. and onions. Cook on a low to medium heat for 8 minutes, add onion and cook for further 10-15 minutes, stirring. The oil should be just gently bubbling away, but not frying. When done, the potatoes will be soft but should not have gained any colour.
2. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat with a teaspoon of salt.
3. Drain the potatoes and onions, and season with salt. Allow to cool a little, then add to the eggs. Gently mix together.
4. In a 27 cm non-stick frying pan, heat pure olive oil over high heat. When very hot, pour in the potato and egg mixture and mix well with a heatproof plastic spatula for 30 seconds.
5. Reduce heat to medium. Use the end of your spatula to break the potatoes up a little. Run the spatula around the side of the tortilla to form the edges. Cook for 3–4 minutes.
6. Cover the entire pan with a large plate and turn the tortilla over, then slide the uncooked side back into the hot pan. Keep cooking for 3–4 minutes on medium heat, with the plate acting as a lid. If the top has cracks, whisk two more eggs and pour over to seal.
7. The tortilla should be only lightly golden, and almost cooked through but slightly soft and moist in the centre. Once cooked, remove the plate that was acting as a lid. Place a clean plate on top that fits generously over the pan, then turn the pan over so that the tortilla sits on the plate. Cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes to allow the latent heat to finish the cooking.
8. Slice and serve.