Polpo e patate (octopus and potato braise)
- July 2017
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 40 min, simmering time 45-60 min
The general rule with octopus is either to cook it briefly (flash searing, for example) or to cook it so long that it becomes meltingly soft. You can serve Emiko Davies’ recipe warm or you can eat it chilled.
- 14.4g (2.4g saturated)
- 24.1g (1.5g sugars)
- 1kg whole octopus, gutted (ask your fishmonger to prepare it for you)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 125ml dry white wine
- 500g waxy white potatoes, such as charlotte, cut into chunks
- Large handful fresh flatleaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped
- Juice 1 lemon
- Rinse the octopus under a cold tap. Make sure the tentacles are free of any grit. Remove the eyes and clean inside the head thoroughly, but leave the octopus whole.
- Put the garlic in a large deep saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add 3 tbsp of the olive oil and heat gently for a few minutes to flavour the oil. Add the octopus and turn the heat up to medium; cook for 2 minutes, colouring it all over. Pour over the wine, bring to a simmer, then cover and cook over a low heat for about 45 minutes. Check for tenderness – a fork pushed into the thickest part should find no resistance (another 10-15 minutes simmering, covered, may be necessary).
- Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a medium saucepan, fill with cold water to cover and add a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and cook for 12-15 minutes until just soft. Drain.
- When the octopus is very tender, take it off the heat and leave in the pan until cool enough to handle. Leaving the juices in the pan, drain the octopus on kitchen paper. If the octopus is large, you may need to peel it – the skin should come off just by rubbing or scraping it gently. Small ones won’t need peeling.
- Chop the octopus into 5cm pieces, then return it to the juices in the pan, along with the potatoes. Add the parsley and lemon juice, plus the rest of the olive oil, then season with salt and black pepper. Toss to combine and serve warm or cold with plenty of bread to mop up the sauce.
If planning to serve leftovers cold the next day, drain the stew of its juices and keep them separate in the fridge. Reheat the reserved juices just until they become liquid again, then add a splash to the octopus and toss with olive oil and a little lemon juice.
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