Octopus in Red Wine
This is a Mediterranean inspired dish that I have been cooking ever since I discovered my love for octopus. It also used to be my signature dish until I discovered my love for veal, and crêpes, and veal-stuffed crêpes. (´･ω･`)
Ingredients (serves 1-2*)
400-500g whole octopus
1 brown onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
1/2 cup red wine
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 tsp oregano
salt/pepper to taste
0. Before starting the recipe, make sure your octopus is cleaned, thoroughly washed, and organs removed.
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil with a teaspoon of salt. Put in the octopus and cook at a simmer uncovered for 30 minutes to an hour, or until the octopus is fork-tender.**
2. While this is going on, chop up your veggies; julienne the onion, finely mince the garlic, dice the tomato, finely chop the cilantro, and get everything else prepped and ready to throw in.
3. Remove octopus from the boiling water when you believe it to be ready and set it aside to cool. Once it’s cool enough to work with, chop it up into bite-sized pieces and set it aside.
4. In a saucepan, heat up some olive oil with your onions on medium heat and cook with a pinch of salt until onions are translucent.
5. Turn the heat up to medium-high, then add in your octopus. Stir in your tomato paste, add another pinch of salt along with some black pepper and cook the octopus in the pan with the onions for 3-5 minutes.
6. Toss in your diced tomatoes, garlic, a generous shake of oregano, stir it all in and bring the pot up to a sizzle. “Deglaze” by pouring in your red wine. At this point you can add in the vinegar, cilantro/parsley, tomato paste and bay leaves. Bring it up to a simmer, then turn the heat down to the lowest setting and cook slightly uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the liquid thickens to your desired consistency.
7. 15 minutes later, feel free to do a taste test on the liquid and adjust seasoning as needed. (It may need a little more vinegar, salt, etc)
8. Once the liquid has thickened to your liking, remove from the heat and serve into stew bowls or plates. Garnish with some fresh cilantro or Italian parsley, and eat whilst drinking a glass of red wine.
*Serves 1 if you’re not serving it with a side, which is probably going to be bread or something… It’s perfectly delicious on its own if you ask me though, so to me this is just 1 serving.
**This is mostly personal preference, but generally your fork should only meet a little bit of resistance when attempting to pierce the octopus’s skin. If it’s too tough, keep boiling. Also, if you add in some aromatic vegetables like celery, carrots, bell peppers, onions, you could create a very flavourful stock which can be used in other recipes… just none of mine, at the moment. (╥﹏╥)