Octopus Stifado

IMG_9104It’s been very busy around here and in case you missed the memo, I am currently working on the manuscript for my very first cookbook! The excitement of having a cookbook with my recipes and my name on it quickly wore off after I realized that there’s a lot of work involved!
Here are the basics: the book will contain about 300 Greek./Mediterranean dishes, it’s scheduled to be released this November and they have been re-tested to be made with ease. Greek cuisine for the masses! I’ll be using Greek ingredients that most have access to and if not, offering substitutions for those that live in a part of the world lacking in Mediterranean ingredients. I will also be showcasing ingredients you should try, like octopus!

See, the octopus releases its own liquid
See, the octopus releases its own liquid
Here’s an octopus dish that everyone can make (not everyone has a gas/charcoal grill). No water is added into the pot as over 50% of the cephalopod is water and it releases this liquid as it cooks. Here, octopus gets slowed braised with wine, pearl onions, tomato, herbs and spices in a stew us Greeks call Stifado.IMG_8801

Octopus Stifado

(serves 4)

1 large octopus (approx. 2 lbs.), beak removed

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, sliced

1 1/2 cups blanched pearl onions (skins removed)

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 bay leaves

6-7 whole allspice berries

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

pinch of ground cinnamon

1/3 cup chopped fresh dill

  1. Rinse your octopus and place in a large oven-safe pot and cover. Turn the heat to high and cook for 10 minutes then remove from the heat. Take out your octopus and allow to cool.
  2. In the meantime, keep the octopus liquid in the pot and add the olive oil, onions, wine, vinegar, tomato paste, bay leaves, allspice, zest and bring up to a boil and stir. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  3. Separate the tentacles of the octopus with a knife and add (along with the head) into the pot and cover. Place in your pre-heated 350F oven for 90 minutes or until the octopus is fork tender. Uncover and bake some more if you would like the sauce to thicken.
  4. Remove from the oven, add cinnamon and dill and stir in. Remove bay leaves, divide and serve. Serve with a bottle of Mediterra Mirambelo red from Crete.

This dish screams for good crusty bread, some gigantes beans or elbow macaroni.

© 2013,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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4 Comments for “Octopus Stifado”

says:

Great presentation, Peter! I am sure taste as well!
I, too, cook octapus in the oven, which results in great tenderness.

So, is your book out yet!

Have a wonderful New Year!

Katina