I tried this amazing dish on our recent trip to Canary Island. The seafood there is so so delicious by the way. When I came home I thought of making the dish, so I looked for the recipe and I found one that shows the exact method.
Unfortunately I did not find fresh Octopus so I used what we got. In the photos below are the results of my cooking. I loved this simple dish and I will make sure to make it often especially in the summer. I hope you enjoy this International cooking inspiration.
1 octopus (of about 4.4 pounds)
1.1 pounds of potatoes
Sea salt (to taste)
Spanish sweet or hot paprika (or a mixture of both, depending on your taste)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion
Directions to prepare the dish:
It is important to soften the octopus before you cook it. At the island of Ons, I have seen how they used to do this the traditional way by repeatedly hitting the octopus against a rock. Lucky for us, we don’t have to do this, if you freeze it, you will get a very similar effect. So either buy the octopus fresh and freeze it, or buy it already frozen.
The day before, take the octopus out of the freezer and leave it in the fridge to thaw. Make sure you place the octopus it in a large pot or bowl, a lot of water will be released, and you don’t want it to overflow in your fridge. Just before cooking, rinse it under cold water to clean.
Fill a large pot (the largest one you have) with water, add a whole peeled onion, and bring to a boil (you don’t need to add salt; the salt in this dish will be added at the end). When the water starts boiling, grab the octopus by the head and “scare” it. This technique consists in dipping the octopus 3 or 4 times in the boiling water. The purpose of doing this is so it stiffens/contracts, and the skin doesn’t break during the cooking process.
Boil the octopus for about 45-50 minutes over medium heat (the time will depend on the size of the octopus). Prick it from time to time to check how hard it is. The first time you cook octopus is always the hardest, since it takes some practice to cook the meat just right, but it gets easier.
While the octopus is boiling, wash and peel the potatoes and then cut them in halves. Set aside.
When the octopus is done, remove from the boiling water, place in a platter and let it cool. Add the potatoes to the boiling water and boil for about 15 minutes. If you don’t want the potatoes to turn slightly pink, you can boil them in clean water, I like my potatoes to soak the octopus flavor, so I boil them in the same water as the octopus.
Slice the octopus legs with scissors (about ½ of an inch wide slices,) cut the head into small pieces.
Serve on a wooden platter: place the potatoes on the bottom and the octopus on top. Add the sea salt, sprinkle the paprika, and add a splash of olive oil. I also like to add a little bit of the cooking water.