I was so excited when I went to my local Morrison’s and saw two cleaned and prepared octopus on the shelf. It can be so hit and miss with what they have available. Sometimes I can go and all they have is some salmon and smoked haddock, some days I go and they have shelves full of tuna and sword fish, octopus and one time I got really lucky and got some lobster tails with yellow stickers. Yellow sticker Lobsters!! Surely I’m not the only loser who gets excited by yellow sticker bargains…You know what I mean by yellow sticker right? reduced stickers, whoopsie stickers. Basically food they need to get rid off on the cheap because its due to run out of date. Anyways…. I bought both of the octopus for around a fiver. What a bargain!!!
Don’t forget you can ask the fish monger to clean and prepare the octopus if it isn’t already done so.
I absolutely love seafood, especially octopus and squid. Generally at restaurants I always go for the calamari, and when in Mallorca I love a grilled Sepia with chips and salad from the local cafeteria/restaurant in Manacor. I managed to get a picture last time we ate there, though as you can see, I got so excited that I nearly forgot to take a picture for you all!!!
I also needed to show off the work of my dad and Josh, they caught these themselves!! We went to Calas de Mallorca one day, and Dad took his fishing gear. I sunbathed, while Josh and Dad went out of sight in the cove snorkelling and catching whatever they could, they then speared their catches on a buoy. Which according to Josh is a great thing to use until the octopus latches itself to your arm and nearly drowns you!!! I found this hilarious, though I’m sure there is some Vegans out there really smiling to themselves at this thought!! I’m sure you’ve figured out that he didn’t drown, which I’m obviously happy about but the image of Josh trying to untangle himself from a buoy full of octopus just gets me every time!! It was his first time out snorkelling with my Dad, who by the way swims like a mermaid, so we can let him off.
Now , the trick to cooking our tentacled friend is either to cook it very quick or very slow, there isn’t an in between or else it is very chewy. So I’ve decided to cook one of the octopuses slowly in a stew and then I’ll froze the other. I will marinate and grill it another day.
I stuck with the Mediterranean theme with this recipe, it’s rich and smoky and just blooming scrumptious.
Even though I have called this a stew I actually like mine with a thicker consistency. I’m going to leave it up to you to decide how thick or saucy you want to have this meal. If you want its saucier add more water.
1 whole octopus – I bought prepped and cleaned ones from the fish monger
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into thick wedges
Half a stick of cooking chorizo
One small onion or half a large Spanish onion. Chopped finely.
1 small red bell pepper, chopped into chunky cubes
A tin of chopped tomatoes
A tin of beans of your choice, I used botelli beans
2 bay leaves
Small glass of white wine
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
Tablespoon of olive oil
- Give your octopus a rinse and pop into a pan of boiling water. Leave it to simmer for at least an hour and a half.
- On a moderate heat fry off your onions and pepper in the olive oil for 5 minutes; they don’t need to be cooked through completely.
- Add the carrot
- Add your chorizo and fry off until the oils start to release.
- Once your peppers and onions are covered in the chorizo juice, Add your garlic and bay leaves and stir
- Add your wine and tinned tomato.
- Take out your octopus and cut into pieces, I cut the tentacles into individual pieces and the head into 4. And add to the stew mix
- Add 4 cups of water and transfer it all to a casserole or roasting dish with a lid.
- Cook in the oven low and slow on around 160®c/325®F/gas mark 3.
- It takes round a couple of hours for the octopus to soften. Cut a bit of a tentacle off to check, if it cuts easy and it’s not chewy then its done, if not put back in for another half hour.
- Depending on the constancy you like, you may need to add another glass of water
- Once the octopus starts to soften, add you tin of beans, mix and cook for a further 20 minutes on low. Again add more water if it’s too thick.
- Serve with crusty bread