Recipe By:Chef John
“Above and beyond the ingredients, the cooking method, or should I say methods, couldn’t be easier. As long as you braise it gently on low heat, until just tender, and then give it a nice sear before serving, you should be in great shape. This smoky braised octopus is great served with crusty roasted potatoes.”
- 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 (1 pound) piece Spanish octopus
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup braising liquid
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper to taste
- Place chopped onion, garlic cloves, bay leaf, paprika, salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil into saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until onions start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add white wine to create the braising liquid. Bring to a simmer.
- Transfer octopus into braising liquid, turning to coat with the liquid. Cover; reduce heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes and turn octopus over. Continue cooking until octopus is tender, another 40 to 45 minutes.
- Remove from heat; transfer octopus to a large bowl. Pour braising liquid over octopus. Place bowl above a bowl of ice water to cool to room temperature.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap when octopus and liquid are cool. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Transfer octopus to a work surface and mop off braising juices with paper towels; remove as much of the purple skin as you want. Cut octopus into 3 or 4 serving-size pieces. Brush with olive oil.
- Transfer braising liquid to saucepan. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Strain out solids; transfer liquid to a mixing bowl; let cool about 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, parsley, salt, and cayenne pepper to make the serving sauce.
- Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to high heat. Transfer octopus pieces to grill. Cook until flesh is seared, almost charred, 3 or 4 minutes. Turn and cook other side until dark brown, caramelized, and heated through, another 3 or 4 minutes. Transfer to a platter.
- Slice octopus into fairly thick diagonal slices. Place on a serving dish. Spoon braising liquid mixture over the top. Dust with a bit of cayenne pepper, if desired.