Octopus is one of the most underrated seafoods and since visiting Portugal on numerous occasions I’ve developed an appreciation for the stuff. If cooked correctly it’s tender and meaty and adds great texture to any seafood dish with a very subtle seafood taste. Thrifty foods used to sell octopus but now I buy it from Cowichan Bay Seafood in the Victoria Public market. Their octopus is affordable ($17.50/kg) and caught locally (often found in their prawn traps).
2 chorizo sausages (try to get the dry chorizo as opposed to fresh sausage), cut in half then sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/2 cup red wine
2 bay leaves
1 tsp chili flakes (optional)
14oz. can diced tomatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
freshly ground pepper
4 small russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 tbls flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbls lemon juice
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350ºF)
Heat a large sized pot of very lightly salted water to a simmer and add the octopus. Bring the water to a boil then turn the temp down to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes then turn the heat off and let the octopus sit in the hot water for another 20 minutes.
Meanwhile in another large oven proof saucepan heat the olive oil and add the onions and the chorizo. Cook until the onions start to brown then add the garlic, chili flakes, tomatoes, wine, pepper, bay leaves and a small pinch of salt. Turn the temperature to medium and let simmer for about 20 minutes uncovered to let the sauce reduce and thicken. At this point drain the octopus and cut into bite size (1/2″ thick) pieces then add it to the tomato mixture along with the potatoes.
Cover the saucepan either with a lid or tin foil and put in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Stir in the parsley and lemon juice and serve warm with crusty bread or over rice. If you like you could prepare this recipe without the potatoes and use this as a pasta sauce or serve with baguette as an appetizer.