Photo: Kelsey Hansen; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active
30 mins
Total
3 hours (plus)
Yield
Serves 2-4 (serving size: 8-10 oz)

 While octopus may not be your typical weeknight the warm and nuanced flavors in this rustic dish absolutely say comfort food, which makes this a perfect gateway recipe for anyone cooking octopus at home for the first time. Plus, braising is an excellent cooking method for octopus, as this allows you to bypass having to pre-cook the octopus by boiling or slow roasting in the oven. The initial sear seals moisture into the meat and then the octopus tenderizes and soaks up flavor as it simmers in the aromatic tomato sauce—the longer you allow it to cook, the better this dish gets.  Octopus can be found at specialty grocery stores (such as Whole Foods), fish markets, and Asian or international markets. Just be sure to ask the fishmonger to clean your octopuses and remove the beaks before wrapping ‘em up. Served with simple, crisped fingerling potatoes, this dish is guaranteed to impress.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare the octopus, use kitchen sheers or a sharp knife to separate the tentacles from the head by cutting just above the area where the legs come together (above the beak). At this point, you can divide the tentacles or leave whole.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 3

Heat oil in a (6- to 8-quart) Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season octopus evenly with salt and pepper and add to hot oil. Sear octopus until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove octopus from pan and set aside.

Add garlic, onion, and bell pepper to pan; sauté until softened and fragrant, about 6 minutes.  

Heat oil in a (6- to 8-quart) Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season octopus evenly with salt and pepper and add to hot oil. Sear octopus until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove octopus from pan and set aside.

 

Step 4

Add garlic, onion, and bell pepper to pan; sauté until softened and fragrant, about 6 minutes.  

Step 5

Stir in tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add red wine, stock, honey, paprika, and bay leaves to pan; simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in olives and raisin. Return octopus to pan, covering the meat completely with the sauce. Cover pan with lid and transfer to the oven.Bake at 350° for at least 45 minutes, and up to 2 hours (the longer the octopus cooks the more tender it will become). Remove from oven and cool slightly.  

Step 6

Remove octopus from sauce and slice to serve. Serve with sauce and Pan Roasted Fingerling Potatoes. Garnish with parsley and orange zest. Pan Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

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