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April 10, 2013 / beatricebunny

Braised Octopus

I am so excited about my new full-sized kitchen!  I’ve moved into a pre-War apartment in Brooklyn, and despite giving up space everywhere else, we have the largest kitchen I’ve ever had.  And a gas stove!  Also, local grocery stores carry awesome foods like octopus.  I am one happy home cook.

After a bit of research, I decided to make braised octopus and paella.  The paella was a pretty standard recipe, so I am not going to talk much about it.  I will say that paella is one of the dishes that I always thought would mark me as a “real cook,” so making a successful version of it makes me feel very accomplished.  It was good.

This was my first time making octopus too.  I bought three small octopus at the local grocery store, totally around 6 pounds all together.  Octopus, unlike squid, live to be pretty old, and their meat can get really tough, as such, they require some pretty intense prep.  First, I boiled them for 8 minutes in unsalted water.

Octopus Boiled

While they boiled, I prepped my braised pot. I used my smaller dutch oven, and based my flavor profile on the Spanish flavors in paella – sweet paprika, pepper, lime & lemon, garlic cloves, and a bay leaf.

Octopus Braising Base

 

It looked so pretty!  I admit it was a little weird to watch the octopus boil, because the tentacles moved around like it was still alive.  I’m nor generally squeamish about my food having been alive… but that was a little… mmmm… weird.

Ocotpus

 

I lifted each one out with tongs and nestled them on top of the braising ingredients.  The octopus braised at 200 degrees for around five hours.

Octopus prepped to braise

Meanwhile, I made the paella.  Once the octopus was done (I could easily stick a fork in it), I tossed it with salt, pepper, paprika, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic (all made into a paste in the food processor).  I topped the paella with the octopus.  It was delicious!

Octopus Finished Project

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