Octopus

11:30 am on 14 November 2011

Pulpo

This recipe is as close to the traditional Galician home method of cooking octopus that is possible in a restaurant. In Spanish bars and restaurants, typically, the prepared octopus and potato sits in the fridge and is warmed before serving. This makes it a great dish to cook if entertaining.

Ingredients

  • 6 raciones
  • 3 red capsicum (peppers)
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • cooking salt
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz/about 3) octopus tentacles
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) kipfler potatoes, unpeeled
  • smoked sweet paprika (pimentón), to taste
  • finely chopped parsley, for garnishing
  • sea salt flakes

Method

You will need to begin this recipe the day before.

Preheat the oven to 180⁰C (350⁰F/Gas 4). Place the capsicum and garlic in a small roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with a pinch of cooking salt. Roast for 20 minutes, then remove the garlic and set aside. Continue roasting the capsicum for another 15 minutes or until the skin is charred. Remove the capsicum, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to lightly steam; this will make them easier to peel. Reserve any cooking juices in the tray. When cool enough to handle, peel away the skin from the capsicum and discard along with the stalks and seeds. Place the capsicum flesh in a blender. Squeeze the garlic cloves into the blender, add the reserved cooking juices, season with paprika and blend for 1 minute or until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, season with 1 teaspoon of salt, cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of fresh water to a rapid boil. Rinse the octopus under cold running water. Using a pair of tongs, plunge the octopus into the boiling water for 15 seconds, then remove. Allow the water to return to the boil, then repeat plunging 3 more times, ensuring the water returns to the boil between each immersion. Return all the octopus to the boiling water and leave in the pan. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer and cook the octopus for 30-40 minutes or until tender. To test if it’s ready, insert a small knife into a tentacle; it shouldn’t meet much resistance and the outside layer should be pink and intact. Remove the octopus from the pan and set aside to cool.

Increase the heat to high and bring the water back to the boil. Add the potatoes, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, peel.

Cut the tentacles into 13 cm (5 inch) lengths. Place an octopus length and 2 potatoes in a high-density plastic bag with 1 tablespoon of the capsicum paste and season with cooking salt, so you will have 6 bags in total. Follow our steps on sous-vide cooking. Vacuum seal the bags, then refrigerate for 24 hours.

The next day, cook the octopus in a water bath at 80⁰C (176⁰F) for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. Remove the bags from the water. Slice the octopus crossways into 2 cm (3/4 inch) thick rounds. Slice the potatoes crossways into 1.5cm (5/8 inch) thick rounds, too.

To serve, arrange the potato on warmed serving plates. Place the rounds of octopus on top in a random fashion. Sprinkle with a little paprika, garnish with some parsley, drizzle with a little olive oil and serve straight away.

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